Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Kornienko A.V. Facebook Discourse in Indirect Dialogue with Authorities. Political Linguistics, 2019, Issue 5 (77), pp. 46-56.

Kornienko A.V. Facebook Discourse in Indirect Dialogue with Authorities. Political Linguistics, 2019, Issue 5 (77), pp. 46-56.
ISSN 1999-2629
DOI 10.26170/pl19-05-04

Posted on site: 26.11.19


The article presents results of the analysis performed on material of the Facebook discourse as it is reflected in language items contained therein:  words, expressions, and phrases that became winners of annual competition ‘The Word of the Year’ which is held for 12 years in Russia. The competition has an international status and aims to detect the words, expressions, and phrases either imbedded already in the language, or just appeared in the year under review, those that became a public issue in the monitoring period, and provoked a public response. The selection of prize winners is recognized by Expert Council of the Center for Creative Development of the Russian Language and is based on strict quantitative and qualitative selection criteria. The experts believe that selected items reflect true mindsets of the people, act as indicators of the emotional and intellectual state of society. Qualitative analysis spanning the entire set of the competition prize-winners has focused to identify key features of the covered scope. This study makes it possible to determine some prevailing trends in functioning of Facebook discourse, namely, evident manifestation of politicization, critical attitude to statements and acts of authorities, negative overrating, charging with language game elements aiming at deliberate weakening of evaluative meanings. The study also shows that absolute majority of prize-winning neologisms arising as a response of Facebook users to management decisions of authorities have Russian roots and are designed on derivational base of Russian language. The results obtained indicate that social network Facebook is nowadays an active participant in an indirect dialogue with the authorities. This dialogue is critical and highly emotional, it appeals to language game shorting evaluative meanings, and it offers alternative designations for social realities. And the words of the year capturing the atmosphere of our time, current affairs and people’s attitude to them outline issues of much needed two-way (bilateral) dialogue between society and power.