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Totalitarian Political Discourse?

Tolerance and Intolerance in Eastern and East Central European Countries- Diachronic and Synchronoc Aspects- In collaboration with Karsten Senkbeil


Edited By Beatrix Kreß

This volume contributes to the study of political and especially totalitarian language in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, by bringing together not only diachronic and synchronic aspects, but also by including different media types, such as newspapers, the internet, and different discourse types, e.g. environmental and gender discourses. The combination of historical and contemporary perspectives in many contributions add comparative dimensions, while also shedding light on relevant socio-political developments and phenomena in those post-communist countries, thus uniting linguistic methods with cultural studies.


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Changing media discourse – the Czech daily Rudé právo in the Stalinist years: Tora Hedin


Changing media discourse – the Czech daily Rudé právo in the Stalinist years Tora Hedin 1 Preliminary remarks In February 1948, the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia. The party immediately established control of all public communication. This article examines the Czech media following the coup. Taking the daily paper Rudé právo as an example, my main concern is the transformation of media discourse during the Stalinist era. 2 Aim and previous research The Stalinist period in Czechoslovakia was a time of considerable change in Czech society and public discourse. Although research on the language of totali- tarianism is seldom carried out with a diachronic perspective, there exist a num- ber of recent studies on the development of Czech public discourse after 1948. In an earlier article (Gammelgaard/Hedin 2008), changes in the genre system between 1948 and 1953 were studied. Some of the results in that article will be cited in more detail further below and form the basis for further investigations. In other studies about the period 1949–1953, Gammelgaard (2010) gives a de- tailed analysis of one specific genre, the classified ads, while Madzharova Bruteig (2008) deals with changes in parliamentary debates. The historical framework has been described by Kaplan (1991), Kaplan & Tomášek (1994) and Knapík (2002, 2004), and Czech totalitarian media have been examined by Končelík et al. (2011), Köpplova et al. (2003) and Křivánková & Vatrál (1989). In the present study, I use linguistic and semiotic tools to...

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