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Zwei Wege des medialen Protests gegen das Verbot von obszöner Lexik in russischen Medien

Anna-Maria Meyer

Seiten 55 - 77

Since the law banning the use of vulgar lexis in Russian media was introduced on July 1, 2014, there have been many negative and perplexed reactions to the new restrictions. Looking at the reactions that appeared in newspaper articles, films, online blogs, and forum discussions, two basic forms of protest against the new law can be discerned: 1) confrontational and argumentative protests that sing high praise for necenzurnaja bran’ or mat, and accentuate its meaning for Russian culture, pointing in part to the literary classics; and 2) humorous and satirical protests rich in language play.

The present article analyzes these two forms of protest, both on the basis of linguistic findings and through perspectives from the social sciences on protest communication. It analyzes sixteen significant primary source articles and—where available—the associated forum discussions in Russian, American, and German online media that were published just before or after the law’s introduction, and which take a firm stand against it. It then examines arguments advanced in the Russian media in support of mat, which have been formulated by linguistic laymen, and are backed up or proven wrong by linguistic findings.


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