Discourses and emotions in narration of the annexation of Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation
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The aim of this thesis is to analyze how the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation is narrated in the leading political discourse and media discourse. This is done by examining two main cases that represent the discourses, a political speech of president Putin and a documentary film by Andrey Kondrashov, through the encoding/decoding model of Stuart Hall. The thesis first identifies the relevant theoretical stances that explain how using the approach of cultural studies helps to analyze images, texts and emotions in politics. The thesis then offers an overview of the Russian case, highlighting the main motives behind the annexation of Crimea and meaning of Crimea for the Russian identity. This is later followed by the analysis of the speech and the documentary. Since the approach of Stuart Hall only identifies the types of encodings and decodings, this thesis seeks to add an additional analysis to the encoded and decoded messages, by identifying narratives and emotions used by the leading political and media discourse. The thesis found that a certain set of narratives and emotions were used by both discourses in explaining the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. These narratives were quite similar to one another, almost constituting an overlap of the discourses. In order to strengthen the messages, both the speech and the documentary were encoded with strong moral emotions that in turn caused emotional responses at the stage of decoding. The reaction of the audience, hence the decoding stage, was observed via comments in social media, news articles and the blogosphere. The results showed that most of the audience interpreted the messages in a dominant-hegemonic key, thus agreeing with the essence of the proposed messages. The encoded narratives were clearly embraced and empowered by the public. Those narratives containing strong moral emotions got mirrored more often by the audience, thus stressing the power of emotions in delivering messages.