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Information and Persuasion

Studies in Linguistics, Literature, Culture, and Discourse Analysis

Edited By Maria-Ionela Neagu and Domnita Tomescu

This transdisciplinary study gathers research papers that reveal the multifarious facets of the concept of «persuasion». It is argued that regardless of its degree of intentionality, the act of persuasion underlying each information item prompts the interlocutors to cross the borders of political, historical, linguistic, narrative, psychotherapeutic, and even marketing configurations. The contributors’ contention is that political thinking and ideology-grounded linguistic patterns act as a form of social control, both informing and shaping the sense of identity of the manipulated masses and of the oppressed.

«Taking a sociolinguistic turn, this volume of interesting scholarly works addresses matters of ideological loadings in a variety of genres, contributing to the development of new research paradigms.» – Bledar Toska, University of Vlora «Ismail Qemali»

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Communist propaganda: Representing the Communist activist in the novels published during Ceauşescu’s dictatorship (Mihaela-Claudia Trifan)

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Mihaela-Claudia TrifanPetroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti

Communist propaganda: Representing the Communist activist in the novels published during Ceauşescu’s dictatorship

The present paper analyzes the way in which Romanian writers living under the Communist dictatorship depict the representatives of the political authorities in their novels during Nicolae Ceauşescu’s regime, highlighting the information they had access to, the strategies employed to serve the propaganda of the age and to appease the censorship, and the impact of this propagandist message.

1.  Contextualization of the Romanian Communist propaganda

1.1  Theoretical framework

“Propaganda” is generally associated with negative connotations, as Douglas Walton noticed in his book Media Argumentation. Dialectic, Persuasion and Rhetoric: “What frequently happens is that arguments are automatically dismissed as irrational or fallacious, as soon as they are categorized as propaganda” (2007, 91). Furthermore, Walton (2007, 93) considers that messages coined as “propaganda” are usually perceived as manipulative and deceptive. Sproule (1994, 8) introduces in his definition of the concept negative connotations, contesting the logic of the arguments used in this type of campaigns:

Propaganda represents the work of large organizations or groups to win over the public for special interests through a massive orchestration of attractive conclusions packaged to conceal both their persuasive purpose and lack of sound supporting reasons.

The intent of manipulating the target public is also emphasized by Jowett and O’Donnell who define propaganda as “the deliberate, systematic attempt to...

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