The problem of the preparation of future specialists for intercultural interaction is quite relevant, and in theory and practice some experience has been gained in this process. In modern pedagogical science, considerable experience has been accumulated in preparing students of different qualifications for intercultural interaction, forming and developing the tolerance, intercultural communicative competences, educating the younger generations in a multicultural world. The authors address the idea of the evaluation of Russian image in authoritative British magazines as the most effective and therefore popular in modern science. The paper analyses the articles from different British magazines and emphasizes the idea that the image of the state is a complex phenomenon, depending on the public consciousness of people, due to culture and stereotypical thinking, which is important in the organization of the process of intercultural dialogue. We came to the conclusion that the image of the state is a complex phenomenon that is not only influenced by people's perception of each other, but also because of the changes taking place in the country, largely, of the efforts aimed at creating the country's image.
Keywords: Intercultural interactionsocial assessmentinformation flowspublic consciousness
At the turn of the second and third millennia, it became obvious that Russian society is developing along the path of searching for a national idea, actual values and meanings. Many moral values and attitudes are rethought, there is a rejection of age-old traditions, there are new moral guidelines corresponding to the spirit of the time. This process covered various spheres of public life in all countries of the world. Today it is impossible to find nationalities that would not have been influenced by other cultures or the wider world social environment. The described phenomena are reflected in the rapid growth of cultural exchanges and direct contacts between state institutions, social groups, social movements and individuals from different countries and cultures.
It should be noted that the changes taking place in the modern world economic and socio-cultural space contribute to the growth of intercultural interaction, the expansion of cooperation in international educational projects, and professional contacts between representatives of different cultures. All this requires university graduates to be professionally competent, whose inherent indicators are fluency in a foreign language and norms of intercultural communication.
In this regard, when teaching a foreign language, priority is given to the problem of preparing students for intercultural interaction based on the attitude of the British mass media towards Russia.
The research question is to analyse the current state of the term “Russian image in British mass media” based on the consideration and definition of the conceptual and categorical framework and the analysis of theoretical concepts that are strategically important for the following development of the studied questions.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to analyse the modern Russian image from the point of view of British mass media and the process of preparing would-be specialists for intercultural interaction.
Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom is of great importance for both countries. Important political, economic and military interests for Europe are concentrated in Russia. Britain shapes policy in the West on important issues. The success of cooperation depends on the dialogue between Russia and Britain, as well as the development and formation of a positive image of both countries. For successful cooperation, these countries need to take into account the difference in cultures, as well as have a complete picture of the partner country.
Globalization of the world space, the development of economic communications, due to the fact that the representations and worldview of people, public consciousness to a large extent began to be formed by means of mass information. Almost all spheres of human life (economic, political, educational system) are under their significant influence. The right choice of addressees and mechanisms determines the success of image technologies and the possibility of effective use (Ivanova; 2008).
Assessment of information flows is an important part of the process of reflection of reality (Prishchepchuk; 2008). In the course of cognition of the surrounding world, a person perceives facts and phenomena, and this is reflected in the language. The term evaluation in linguistics is an important category of the level of distraction, because it is associated with the image of phenomena through their understanding by a person and their actualization with the help of language (Kabirova, 2011).
The media shape public opinion. The effective relationship of countries depends largely on the perception of their partners. Thus, for fruitful cooperation, it is necessary to create representative States. Of course, there are differences in the way events are perceived in our country and abroad, what journalists actually criticize and what conclusions they draw (Demjanov, 2003). For example, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in one of his speeches talks about double standards:
"Every time we are provoked to some actions to protect our interests, then they say that Russia is taking the steps. So, don’t provoke us, in the active protection of our interests. Let us agree with you".
The British media are quite picky and sometimes quite unbalanced about the foreign and domestic policy of the Russian Federation, which forms a positive or negative image of our state among the British people. The media is a powerful ideological weapon. In order to have a true idea about certain countries or peoples, it is important to have a plurality of views, an unbiased representation of images and opinions (Danilova, 2009).
The statements of the media, which contain an evaluation component, are very diverse. Speech acts of evaluation can be divided into two groups: positive-evaluative (laudatory, flattering), and negative-evaluative (condemning, insulting and accusing) (Chudinov, 2001). In the journalistic style, evaluation is a specific style, since the evaluation of the subject of speech by the people is understood as the creation of the text as a whole, that is, social evaluation. Social evaluation is a feature of journalism, which not only needs the presentation of facts and events, as well as their specific interpretation, but also social evaluation. The most common level representing the evaluation semantics is a lexical. The main means of this nomination are nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, phraseological units, metaphors, etc. (Ivin, 1970).
The formation of the image of the country goes in various ways, including through planned information campaigns in the media. The beginning of the history of Anglo-Russian relations can be called the visit of the Navigator Richard Chancellor to Russia. The first features of the image of Russia in the English consciousness can be traced in the sources of the IX-XIII centuries. Since then, among the very first elements of the image of Russia began to allocate images of a single militant people, as well as vast territories: brutal, dirty Russian bear as a comparison with the whole people and Moscow is redundant, huge (Chudinov, 2001). An important linguistic feature in English Newspapers is culturally significant information about Russia, which causes difficulties in understanding the text by native English speakers. Basically, this information is presented at the lexical level. This can be explained by the fact that in English there are no exact equivalents to some Russian words denoting phenomena peculiar to Russian culture. To more accurately convey the meaning, as well as the national flavour, journalists use Russian words, introducing them in the English text. Some of these words have already become firmly established in the English language, for example, “perestroika”, “apparatchik”, etc. in order to convey as many shades of the meaning of the word as possible, journalists resort to descriptive translation. The use of borrowed Russian vocabulary, as well as words that are not included in the vocabulary of the language of recipients of information, contributes to the formation of the image of Russia in the public consciousness of the UK.
For example, the word Gulag is in English Gulag. Initially, the meaning was the same as in the Russian language; it is now used in relation to any repressive or coercive institution, position, etc. The understanding of a reader of the British media how the Russian people see various phenomena can be biased (Sokolov, 2010).
When interpreting the modern image of Russia in the British media, it is important to take into account many different aspects in order to fully and truthfully find out the current appearance of the country in the West. In order to do this, after analysing various articles of the most authoritative British publications of 2016 “The Independent”, “The Economist” and “The Guardian”, we identified the estimated language tools that form the image of Russia and compiled a classification according to five main thematic areas of their use such as: appearance, economy, domestic politics, people and the Soviet past.
The British media hardly describe the unique natural beauties of Russia, although they mention its boundless territories. Most often, journalists talk about the Russian harsh climate, in their words there is a clear presence of stereotypical thinking:
Winter in the heart; extremely severe weather on the pass ageto Russia, probably the worst ever experienced.
Russia has its own specific, definite ruling class. It is represented by various concepts in the British media, such as The Kremlin, the Russian Government, the oligarchs, the security services, the siloviki etc. (Kremlin, Russian government, oligarchs, special services, security forces). There is a clear negative attitude towards the ruling bodies of Russia:
Russian officials have reacted with furious rhetoric; The Russian defence ministry .
In addition, in foreign publications the term Putinism is revealed. President of Russia V.V. Putin is an important and significant person throughout the world; he has a definite strong influence on world politics. That is why Western journalists are trying to find out more, the term Putinism has come to mean “Putin's regime”. Many journalists note that Putin’s goal is to revive the former power of a great power in every sense:
Putin, who makes as how of his faith; his own ideological vacuum; a number of manoeuvres by the Putin circle.
The influence of V. V. Putin is present in all areas of modern reality, in the field of mass information, production and local self-government. The term Putinophobia has appeared, which includes all the concepts:
He takes what he wants. When you are president; the Kremlin’s suppression of mainstream media.
The people are the soul of the country, so it is important to monitor how development is moving in this area. The two main problems that are raised in the British press are the poverty of the common population and the “boom” of the top of the society – the oligarchs and the ruling stratum in Russia. Undoubtedly, against this background, people from the province have a depressive state, alcoholism and complete moral degradation:
Russia’s marginalized liberal and human rights; Russian nationalism maybe biggest threat toPutin'spower, expert swarn.
The British media pay great attention to the history of Russia. Significant emphasis is placed on the period when power in the country belonged to the Bolsheviks, and therefore the Communist party. British journalists draw analogies of modern Russia and the Soviet era, constantly mention and analyze the various realities of Russia of that era: the Bolshevik revolution, Soviet legacy, openness, the civil war, Stalin ’spurges, Gulag, the Thaw, perestroika, politburo, collapse of communism (Bolshevik revolution, Soviet legacy, openness, civil war, Stalinist repression, GULAG, thaw, perestroika, Politburo, collapse of communism). Almost every article features the Soviet era and the Soviet Union not in a positive context: the “ominous shadow” of the past haunts Russia all the time:
Mikhail Gorbachev, had launched his policy of openness…; Soviet soldiers shot every dog; The Kremlin has been actively further habilitation of Stalin. Its aim is not to deny Stalin's crimes but to emphasize his achievements as the builder of the country's “glorious Soviet past” (Mikhail Gorbachev began his openness policy...; Soviet soldiers shot at every dog; the Kremlin is actively engaged in the rehabilitation of Stalin. Its purpose is not to deny Stalin's crimes, but to emphasize his achievements as a Builder of the country's "glorious Soviet past").
Thus, we came to the conclusion that the image of the state is a complex phenomenon that is not only influenced by people's perception of each other, but also because of the changes taking place in the country, largely, of the efforts aimed at creating the country's image. Understanding between States depends mainly on the picture of the world that has developed in the public knowledge of people. The conclusion of the country relative to each other is reasoned by the culture and stereo-typical thinking. This fact seems to us important in the process of intercultural dialogue.
This research was supported by the Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia Boris Eltsyn, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
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31 October 2020
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
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Savelyeva, N., Nevraeva, N., Bozhko, E., Alekseeva, E., & Mukhametshina, O. (2020). The British Mass Media Attitude Towards Russia: Analisys For Intecultural Interaction Training. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3786-3791). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.504