Personal Qualities of M.S. Gorbachev and B.N. Yeltsin in Language Consciousness of Humanities Students

Keywords: semantic differential, semantic universals, language consciousness, personal qualities, leaders, Russia, students, mass media.

Abstract

Objectives. The study aims at identifying and describing a fragment of the linguistic consciousness of humanitarian students, reflecting their ideas about the personal qualities of M.S. Gorbachev and B.N. Yeltsin. The additional tasks are: (1) to compare the characteristics identified experimentally with the linguistic characteristics of these personalities in the official mass media; (2) to analyze the role of media discourse in the formation of images of the politicians under study.

Material and Methods. The method of unipolar personal semantic differential is used. The process of the results included the identification of group universal assessments, their qualitative analysis, comparison and qualitative analysis of the similarities and differences of the universal evaluations of the stimuli studied. Media texts published for the 90th anniversary of Gorbachev and the 90th anniversary of Yeltsin, selected by the method of random (serial) sampling, were analyzed qualitatively

Results. Group semantic universals reflecting students’ perceptions of the politicians studied are poor in content. The most striking characteristic of Gorbachev are selfishness and deceitfulness, unlike Yeltsin he is thought to be hardworking and calm. A distinctive feature of Yeltsin is ambition. Both leaders appear as free in their behavior, the difference lies in the fact that Gorbachev is considered experienced, but devoid of tact and flexibility, Yeltsin lacks creativity, wit and malevolence. Both combine such traits as sociability, activity and intelligence. The experiment does not record the qualities that are emphasized in mass media – kindness and care for the good of the country.

Conclusions. The ideas of students about the personal qualities of Gorbachev and Yeltsin are rather vague, “kaleidoscopic” in nature. The group assessment of the personal characteristics of these politicians does not coincide with the interpretation offered by various mass media. Mass media today do not contribute to the development of a view of the history shared by a significant part of society, which, in turn, leads to the conservation of socio-political contradictions in society. Moreover, modern media, despite its advantageous position, now play rather a destructive role in creating a common view of the history of Russia and the quality of its recent leaders. The result may be a state of psychological conflict in society directly related to culture and the human self, with “identification confusion” (the term of E. Erickson) that has the function of a collective ego.

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Published
2021-10-17
How to Cite
Bubnova, I., & Tokareva, E. (2021). Personal Qualities of M.S. Gorbachev and B.N. Yeltsin in Language Consciousness of Humanities Students. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 30(2), 8-27. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2021-30-2-8-27