Russia's Portrayal in the Mirror of International Mass Media: The Role of Cultural Context
The analysis of cultural context in media texts can contribute to understanding how national images are constucted in the international media discourse. The image of a country is better understood by the audience of another country when it is introduced through familiar cultural concepts and well-known experiences so that specific, culture-bound elements of the other culture are brought closer to the target audience. The research provides linguo-cultural analysis of Russia's portrayal in political media discourse in English-speaking countries drawing on the approach to political discourse as the process of production and interpretation of a text in meaningful political, social and cultural context. The study is aimed at exploring British and U.S.A. mass media to reveal typical features of the English-language political discourse concerning Russia and to find out how Russia's image is constmcted. In the course of the study we examined culture-bound lexicon in texts of various genres of political discourse in mass media focusing on Russia. Further, the use of Russian culture-bound items without translation in British and American mass media was analyzed, and such items were classified into categories according to their contextual functions. The results indicate that Russia is deeply integrated into the cultural context of the English-speaking audience; it can be said that Russia's image in the Anglophone political media discourse is outlined with the aid of various cultural-bound associative, connotative and metaphorical links which are familiar for native readers and serve them as a bridge facilitating their understanding and interpretation of Russian culture.