Mythologizing Modernity Through Vernacular Discourses

Olga Baysha


Political communication is often depicted as an exchange of rational arguments between rational individuals. However, in political communication people not only communicate emotionally but also rely on nonrational understandings drawn from mythical representations of various symbols and images. The problem becomes especially acute in the realm of global communication as nations permanently appropriate the political ideas of modernity. This study investigates how a local newspaper in the USSR during perestroika interpreted the concepts of “democracy” and “market”—two essential components of the discourse of capitalistic modernity. Following Roland Barthes’ method of deconstructing mythologies, this study shows how the newspaper’s interpretations led to a mythologizing of modernity’s basic concepts.

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