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After NewspeakLanguage Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin$
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Michael S. Gorham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452628

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452628.001.0001

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Ideologies, Economies, and Technologies of Language

(p.1) Introduction
After Newspeak

Michael S. Gorham

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter begins by comparing the Russian term politkonkretnost (“polit-concreteness”) with the English “political correctness.” Both terms share two assumptions central to this book's study: that language not only reflects but also shapes perception, identity, and reality; and that language, culture, and politics are closely intertwined and mutually dependent on one another for meaning. Furthermore, the link between language change and politics is particularly critical during times of radical social change. This book thus examines the late- and post-Soviet political culture through the lens of language. The rest of the chapter outlines the methodological tools and framework best suited for this study.

Keywords:   politkonkretnost, political correctness, language, culture, politics, language change, social change, post-Soviet political culture

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