Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Cultural differences have been shown to be social phenomena, arising in a complex reciprocal relationship between social actors and historical context. National character descriptions have also been shown to do ideological work. Language plays a crucial role in the construction of perceived reality, including perceived differences, and in the support of power structures. This study uses critical language analysis to uncover ideological frameworks behind cultural descriptions Americans have constructed of Russians. First, I will argue that American images of Russians became reified during the Cold War forming crucial building blocks in the ideological war between communism and anti-communism. I will show that linguistic strategies known to be used to gain symbolic control over the Other shaped these descriptions. I will then turn to the post-Cold War era and examine whether the change in ideological climate is reflected in current descriptions. The analysis shows the old descriptions and their familiar vocabulary to persist. Underlying reasons for the continued acceptance of the old descriptions are explored.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bakhtin, Mikhail M
    (1981) The dialogic imagination: Four essays. Michael Holquist (ed.), Caryl Emerson & Michael Holquist (trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  2. Barnouw, Victor
    (1979) Culture and personality. Homewood, Illinois: The Dorsey Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Blommaert, J. & J. Verschueren
    (1992) The role of language in European nationalist ideologies. Pragmatics2.3: 355-375.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bohac, Rodney
    (1991) Everyday forms of resistance: Serf opposition to gentry exactions, 1800-1861. In E. Kingston-Mann & T. Mixter (eds.), Peasant economy, culture, and politics of European Russia, 1800-1921. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 236-260.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Chalk, Frank , & Kurt Jonassohn
    (1990) The history and sociology of genocide. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Custine, Marquis De
    (1843; 1991 reprint) Letters from Russia. London: Penguin Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Eagleton, Terry
    (1991) Ideology: An introduction. London & New York: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Elias, Norbert
    (1978) The civilizing process: The history of manners. New York: Urizen Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Eller, Jack David , & Reed M. Coughlan
    (1993) The poverty of primordialism: The demystification of ethnic attachments. Ethnic and Racial Studies16.2(April): 183-202. doi: 10.1080/01419870.1993.9993779
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.1993.9993779 [Google Scholar]
  10. Eriksen, Thomas Hylland
    (1993) Ethnicity and nationalism. London, Boulder, Colorado: Pluto Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Fabian, Johannes
    (1983) Time and the Other: How anthropology makes its object. New York: Columbia University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Fairclough, Norman
    (1989) Language and power. London and New York: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: The critical study of language. London and New York: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Gorer, Geoffrey , & John Rickman
    (1949) The People of Great Russia: A psychological study. London, The Cresset Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Grant, Steven A
    (1976) Obshchina and mir. Slavic Review (December): 636-651. doi: 10.2307/2495655
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2495655 [Google Scholar]
  16. Habermas, Jurgen
    (1971) Knowledge and human interests. Jeremy J. Shapiro (trans.). Boston: Beacon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Handler, Richard
    (1988) Nationalism and the politics of culture in Quebec. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hinds, Lynn Boyd , & Theodore Otto Windt, Jr
    (1991) The Cold War as rhetoric. New York, Westport, London: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hofstede, Geert
    (1994) Cultural constraints in management theories. In D.E. Hussey (ed.), International Review of Strategic Management, vol.5. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., pp. 27-48.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Ihanus, Juhani , & Marja-Liisa Karlsson
    (1991) Kapaloitu persoonnallisuus: Geoffrey Gorer ja venalainen luonne [Swaddled personality: Geoffrey Gorer and the Russian character]. Suomen Antropologi2: 3-13.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Inkeles, Alex , Eugenia Hanfmann , & Helen Beier
    (1958) Modal personality and adjustment to the Soviet socio-political system. Human Relations11: 3-22. doi: 10.1177/001872675801100101
    https://doi.org/10.1177/001872675801100101 [Google Scholar]
  22. Jonsson, Christer
    (1982) The ideology of foreign policy. In C.W. Kegley, Jr. P. McGowan and(eds.), Foreign Policy, USA/USSR. Beverly Hills: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Kelman, Herbert C
    (1973) Violence without moral restraints: Reflections on the dehumanization of victims and victimizers. Journal of Social Issues29.4: 25-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4560.1973.tb00102.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00102.x [Google Scholar]
  24. Kingston-Mann, Esther
    (1991) In the light and shadow of the West: The impact of Western economics in pre-emancipation Russia. Comparative Study of Society and History33.1: 86-105. doi: 10.1017/S001041750001687X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S001041750001687X [Google Scholar]
  25. Lewin, M
    (1968) Russian peasants and Soviet power. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Male, D.J
    (1971) Russian peasant organization before collectivisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Marcuse, Herbert
    (1964) One-dimensional man. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Mead, Margaret
    (1951) Soviet attitudes toward authority: An interdisciplinary approach to problems of Soviet character. New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hilll Book Company, Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Miller, Wright
    (1960) Russians as people. London: Phoenix House.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Okamura, Jonathan
    (1981) Situational ethnicity. Ethnic and Racial Studies 4.4: 452-465. doi: 10.1080/01419870.1981.9993351
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.1981.9993351 [Google Scholar]
  31. Pal Pach, Zsigmond
    (1995) Business mentality and the Hungarian national character. In Ivo Banac & Katherine Verdery (eds.), National character and national identity in interwar Eastern Europe. New Haven: Yale Center for International and Area Studies, pp. 83-101.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Peabody, Dean
    (1994) National characteristics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Puffer, Sheila M
    (1994) Understanding the Bear: A portrait of Russian business leaders. Academy of Management Executive8.1: 41-54.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Riasanovsky, Nicholas V
    (1952) Russia and the West in the teaching of the Slavophiles: A study of Romantic ideology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. doi: 10.4159/harvard.9780674428874
    https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674428874 [Google Scholar]
  35. Roberts, Henry L
    (1970) Russia and the West: A comparison and contrast. In Michael Cherniavsky (ed.), The structure of Russian history. New York: Random House, pp. 251-260.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Rogger, Hans
    (1960) National consciousness in eighteenth century Russia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. doi: 10.4159/harvard.9780674423275
    https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674423275 [Google Scholar]
  37. Rubens, Kevin
    (1995) Changes in Russia: A challenge for HR. HRMagazine (November): 70-80.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Said, Edward W
    (1979) Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. (1994) Afterword. In E.W. Said , Orientalism 1994 reprint. New York: Vintage Books, pp. 329-352.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Shi-xu
    (1994) Ideology: Strategies of reason and functions of control in accounts of the non-Western Other. Journal of Pragmatics21: 654-669.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Shlapentokh, Vladimir
    (1984) Love, marriage, and friendship in the Soviet Union: Ideals and practices. New York: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Smith, Hedrick
    (1976) The Russians. New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Trigger, Bruce G
    (1995) A history of archaeological thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Tongren, Hale N. , Leo Hecht , & Kenneth Kovach
    (1995) Recognizing cultural differences: Key to successful US - Russian enterprises. Public Personnel Management. 24(1/Spring): 1-17.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Urla, Jacqueline
    (1993) Contesting modernities. Critique of Anthropology13.2: 101-118. doi: 10.1177/0308275X9301300201
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0308275X9301300201 [Google Scholar]
  46. Veiga, John F. , John N. Yanouzas , & Ann K. Buchholtz
    (1995) Emerging cultural values among Russian managers: What will tomorrow bring?Business Horizons (July-August): 20-27. doi: 10.1016/0007‑6813(95)90004‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0007-6813(95)90004-7 [Google Scholar]
  47. Verdery, Katherine
    (1995) Introduction. In Ivo Banac & Katherine Verdery (eds.), National character and national identity in interwar Eastern Europe. New Haven: Yale Russia and Eastern European Publications, xiii-xxvi.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. (1993) Transylvanian villagers. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Vlachoutsicos, Charalambos , & Paul Lawrence
    (1990) What we don’t know about Soviet management. Harvard Business Review (November-December): 50-63.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Wolff, Larry
    (1994) Inventing Eastern Europe. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error