The Soft Power of the Russian Language: Pluricentricity, Politics and Policies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Soft Power of the Russian Language

Pluricentricity, Politics and Policies, 1st Edition

Edited by Arto Mustajoki, Ekaterina Protassova, Maria Yelenevskaya


288 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367183660
pub: 2019-07-08
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Exploring Russian as a pluricentric language, this book provides a panoramic view of its use within and outside the nation and discusses the connections between language, politics, ideologies and cultural contacts.

Russian is widely used across the former Soviet republics and in the diaspora, but speakers outside Russia deviate from the metropolis in their use of the language and their attitudes towards it. Using country case-studies from across the former Soviet Union and beyond, the contributors analyse the unifying role of the Russian language for developing transnational connections and show its value in the knowledge economy. They demonstrate that centrifugal developments of Russian and its pluricentricity are grounded in the language and education policies of their host countries, as well as the goals and functions of cultural institutions, such as schools, media, travel agencies and others created by émigrés for their co-ethnics. This book also reveals the tensions between Russia’s attempts to homogenize the 'Russian world' and the divergence of regional versions of Russian reflecting cultural hybridity of the diaspora. 

Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book will prove useful to researchers of Russian and Post-Soviet politics, Russian Studies, Russian Language and Culture, linguistics, and immigration studies. Those studying multilingualism and heritage language teaching may also find it interesting.

Table of Contents

Part I. Russian as a communicative tool: Lingua franca, intermediator or something else?

Chapter 1 The Russian Language away from Metropolis: Challenges of Pluricentric Development

Arto Mustajoki, Ekaterina Protassova, Maria Yelenevskaya

Chapter 2 The History of Internationalization of the Russian Language

Vladimir M. Alpatov

Chapter 3 Democratization of the Russian Language

Arto Mustajoki

Part II. The Russian-Language Legacy

Chapter 4 Language Policy in Relation to the Russian Language in Georgia before and after Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Kakha Gabunia, Ketevan Gochitashvili

Chapter 5 Russian in Armenia: Between Thriving and Surviving

Suren T. Zolyan, Karen S. Hakobyan

Chapter 6 Russian in Azerbaijan: Changing Practices and Emerging Paradigms

Jala Garibova

Chapter 7 Variability in the Russian Diaspora Speech of Estonia

Jelisaveta Kostandi, Irina Külmoja, Oksana Palikova

Chapter 8 The Russian Language in Latvia—The Historic Linguistic Situation

Pāvels Jurs, Alīda Samuseviča

Chapter 9 The Russian Language of the Lithuanian Republic as Reflected in Mass Media Discourse

Birute Sinochkina

Chapter 10 The Russian Language in Belarus and Ukraine

Jan Patrick Zeller, Dmitri Sitchinava

Chapter 11 The Russian Language in Kazakhstan in the 21st Century

Damina Shaibakova

Chapter 12 Russian Language in Kyrgyzstan: Status, Functioning and Collisions between Languages

Mamed D. Tagaev, Ekaterina Protassova

Part III. The Russian-Speaking Diaspora

Chapter 13 The Russian Language in France: from the Russian Community to the National Education System

Irina Kor Chahine

Chapter 14 Russian in Germany

Katharina Hamann, Kai Witzlack-Makarevich, Nadja Wulff

Chapter 15 Russian and its Speakers in Finland

Johanna Viimaranta

Chapter 16 The Russian Language in Canada

Veronika Makarova

Chapter 17 The Russian Dialects Outside Russia: The Situation in South America

Olga Rovnova

Chapter 18 Connected by Digital Imagination: Discourses of Belonging and Community Building of Russophone Migrants in the USA and Great Britain

Oksana Morgunova (Petrunko), Renat T. Zinnurov

Part IV. New Trends in the Russian Language Teaching

Chapter 19 Heritage Russian in the US and the New Type of Pluricentricity in the Context of Immigration

Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan

Chapter 20 Family Language Policy, Russian Language Use, Maintenance and Transmission in Cyprus and Sweden

Natalia Ringblom, Sviatlana Karpava

Chapter 21 Russian As A Foreign Language Education in Japanese High Schools:A Multilingual Education Policy on the Margin

Sachiko Yokoi Horii

About the Editors

Arto Mustajoki is Professor Emeritus at Helsinki University, Finland.

Ekaterina Protassova is Adjunct Professor in Russian language at the University of Helsinki.

Dr. Maria Yelenevskaya is Senior Teaching Fellow at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

About the Series

Studies in Contemporary Russia

Studies in Contemporary Russia
Studies in Contemporary Russia is a series of cutting-edge, contemporary studies. These monographs, joint publications and edited volumes branch out into various disciplines, innovatively combining research methods and theories to approach the core questions of Russian modernisation; how do the dynamics of resources and rules affect the Russian economy and what are the prospects and needs of diversification? What is the impact of the changing state-society relationship? How does the emerging welfare regime work? What is the role of Russia in contemporary international relations? How should we understand the present Russian political system? What is the philosophical background of modernisation as a whole and its Russian version in particular? The variety of opinions on these issues is vast. Some see increasingly less difference between contemporary Russia and the Soviet Union while, at the other extreme, prominent experts regard Russia as a 'more or less' normal European state. At the same time new variants of modernisation are espoused as a result of Russian membership of the global BRIC powers. Combining aspects of Western and Soviet modernisation with some anti-modern or traditional tendencies the Russian case is ideal for probing deeper into the evolving nature of modernisation. Which of the available courses Russia will follow remains an open question, but these trajectories provide the alternatives available for discussion in this ground-breaking and authoritative series. The editor and the editorial board of the series represent the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies: Choices of Russian Modernisation.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Russian & Former Soviet Union