Study abroad in Edinburgh

Course finder

Semester 1

The Russian Language Society from Proper use to Propaganda (ELCR10018)


European Languages and Cultures - Russian Studies





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



In order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).

Course Summary

The aim of the course is to provide final year students of Russian Studies with knowledge and understanding of social contexts in which Russian language functions. The course will deal with theoretical and practical questions of language change, the so called "linguistic liberalization" and experimentation in contemporary Russian culture as well as issues of language attitudes and policies arising from social transformation. In addition, the course will discuss fundamental questions of the role of language and discourse in construction of identity and ideology and introduce students to relevant theories, such as social and communication theories of identity, Critical Discourse Analysis and others. Students will see how nationalist, xenophobic or liberal ideologies have been expressed through the Russian language and will be equipped to critique the Russian theories of »The Language Picture of the World« and the purist theory of »deep and shallow meanings«. They will explore the narrative about the Great and Mighty Russian Language as a cultural myth and finally see how competing versions of post-Soviet Russian identity are being constructed.

Course Description

The course explores the socio-cultural role of Russian language in Russia and other Russian speaking societies. The course deals with the social and cultural contexts in which Russian functions and examines how historical social upheavals such as the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union impacted on Russian linguistic culture. The topics include the language attitudes, policies and ideologies, construction of identity, literary experimentation, political propaganda and the emerging notion of Global Russian. The course addresses among others, the following questions: What are the connections between the nationalist ideologies and purist language attitudes? What cultural myths about the Russian language are perpetuated in contemporary Russian society? What competing versions of post-Soviet Russian identity are being constructed in Russian public discourse? How is Russian used in various locations in the world? Students are introduced to relevant theories, and to some methods of Discourse Analysis.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course


All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer