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Real Padonki:: a cultural model performed through language : a case study of an online discourse community of creative writers

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This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data collection and analysis. Based on analysis of the texts published

This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data collection and analysis. Based on analysis of the texts published on udaff.com and interactions between the members of this community several conclusions were made. It is proposed that udaff.com should be viewed as an online resource for writers who have created a new form of literature: post-Soviet Russian literature. This new of form literature is characterized by several features that distinguish it from previous forms. This new form of literature is based on the cultural model of a Real Padonak - a new kind of person that embodies both the writer and the hero (a new archetype) created by this writer. In the same way as dissident writers made criminal argot a part of Russian literature, the writers of udaff.com rely on the use of Albanskij, a linguistic innovation, a variation of the Russian language that they have created. Finally, this new literature uses the Internet as its main medium of publication. As a new archetype, Real Padonak represents a continuum of characters (real life people as well as invented literary characters) created by udaff.com writers. From the perspective of Discourse analysis, the cultural model of Real Padonak is shown as multiglossia of Discourses that represent beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices that exist in contemporary Russian society.

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2015

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Medieval rhetoric and civic identity

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Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead with theories of composition in specific genres (such as letters

Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead with theories of composition in specific genres (such as letters and sermons) and with poetics. This view is the product of historiographical approaches that equate rhetoric either theories and practices of speech and writing intended for state-sponsored civic forums, or alternatively with rules governing future speech or literary production. Consequently, the prevailing view of the medieval period in rhetorical studies is a simplified one that has not evolved with changing practices of analysis in the field of rhetorical studies. This dissertation contends that by employing alternative modes of historiography, historians of rhetoric gain a more accurate conception of medieval rhetoric’s civic roles, revealing the discipline’s role in shaping the individual and their relationship to civic and political institutions.

Organized around an introduction, a broad discussion of later medieval rhetoric and political thought (950-1390), four case studies, and a conclusion, this dissertation begins by identifying historiographical trends that have associated medieval rhetoric with technical treatises, minimizing connections to civic life. Challenging these assessments through a close reading of texts of rhetorical theory, political philosophy, and technical treatises, it contends that medieval rhetoric influenced activities such as grammatical education, didactic art, and political theory to inform practices of citizenship. Focusing specifically on representations of labor, this dissertation show that these venues idealized the political participation of manual laborers within an otherwise discursive theory of civic life that drew from both Aristotelian and Ciceronian sources.

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2017