Rahvusliku identiteedi konstrueerimine Eesti päevalehtedes 1920. aastatel
“The Construction of National Identity in Estonian Daily Newspapers in the 1920s” The aim of this master thesis is to analyse how different forms of national identity were produced by Estonian printed press during the 1920s and what were the distinctive features characterising these forms of identity. Articles published in Postimees ja Päevaleht in 1921-1929 were taken under closer examination. Newspapers had an important role to play in the construction of Estonian national identity in the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century. Figuratively it can be said that Estonian national identity was created by the printed word. The theoretical framework of the thesis derives from the constructivist view on reality believing that national identity is a product of social construction and thereby it could be produced and changed. National identity is discursively produced, reproduced, transformed and destructed by means of language and other semiotic systems. Media is one of these discursive means. Newspapers participate in the construction of national identity by creating messages, stereotypes and context. The production of national identity is especially intense in a state where conditions are favorable for the appearance of “hot nationalism”. Articles published under these conditions are the main object of research in this thesis. The thesis also relies on the political-cultural model of nationalism. According to this dualistic model there are two types of nationalism – western political or civic nationalism and eastern cultural or ethnic nationalism. These two concepts are not considered to be exclusive but instead the thesis relies on an assumption that national identity includes both political and cultural element. The importance and relations between different forms of identity change due to social situational settings. The changes in social setting have also changed Estonian nationalism/national identity. In the beginning cultural elements were prevailing but in the beginning of the 20th century when Estonia had became an independent state, where nation- and state-building occurred, political elements were the most prominent in shaping the construction of national identity. Arising from the theoretical framework the thesis is trying to answer the following questions: - Did the articles published in Estonian newspaper during the 1920s produce political national identity or cultural national identity or both? - Where there any changes visible in the construction of national identity in 1921-1929 and if there were, is it possible to associate these changes with social circumstances? - What were the characteristic features of different forms of national identity produced in the 1920s? In order to find answers to these questions LCA-method (Latent Class Analysis) was used. This method produced a solution according to which four different classes or forms of national identity appeared. These classes were analysed by quantitative and qualitative means in order to describe the nature and relations between different forms of identity. Identity forms were also analysed from the historical viewpoint, which made it possible to connect the changes in national identity with the developments in the social situation in Estonia during the 1920s. The four different forms of identity that appeared in the articles were named the production of political identity, the production of past-oriented identity, the production of cultural identity and the production of political-historical identity. The most commonly produced identity form in the articles was political identity, followed by past-oriented and cultural identity. Political-historical identity was most rarely constructed in the articles. The production of political identity was mainly oriented towards the appreciation of democratic and economic values. It was conveyed that democratic state system and functional economy are the main groundsels that ensure the future of Estonian nation. The production of cultural identity was associated with stressing the importance of culture, language, education and science. Achievements in the intellectual sphere are as significant to the development of Estonia as democratic state and good economy. Political-historical identity valued democracy and economic indicators but also emphasised the importance of common national factors and historical past. In the centre of the past-oriented identity were history and the antagonism with the foreign nations that had oppressed Estonia over many centuries. The results of the analysis indicated that during the 1920s political national identity was most commonly produced by the two major Estonian newspapers. It was also concluded that generally the political-cultural model of nationalism could be implemented to describe the developments of Estonian national identity. But political identity could not be considered as the only and dominant identity form because the production on past-oriented, cultural and political-historical identity also appeared. Postimees and Päevaleht constructed different patterns of identity on their pages and these identity patters also changed during the time period under examination. The most notable change that appeared was the increasing importance of the past-oriented identity. After the analysis of these developments it was concluded that changes in the construction of identity could be explained by the conditions prevailing in the Estonian society during the years 1921-1929.