Symbolic representations of protest life-world in media: comparative cross-national analysis of Euromaidan case: doctoral thesis

Thumbnail Image
Bezpiatchuk, Zhanna
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The present work presents the model of symbol analysis in media texts. The critical case of the Ukrainian protest movement Euromaidan is used to build up such a model and to link it with the phenomenological meanings. It relies on empirical data from the coverage by the tabloid and quality media of three countries: Ukraine, the country where the protest took place; Poland, its neighboring, geographically, culturally close country; and Germany, more geographically and historically distant country from Ukraine. Three different national perspectives are compared. The proposed model of analysis of every particular symbol includes the following stages: the identification of objects, signifier, subject, conception, concept in a symbol; interpretation of its denotation, connotation, and signification; identification of protest life-world structures in symbol's meanings; analysis of spatiality, temporality, numerality, and power relations in some symbols that display such qualities, and interpretations of dominant complex symbolic representations on the basis of the coded symbols. The combination of symbol theory, post-structuralism, and phenomenology lays the theoretical foundation for the analysis of symbolic meanings across cultures. The focus is shifted from the coverage of events towards the coverage of experience of events. The latter is structured and described in terms of the life-world theory by Alfred Schutz. The research relies on the broad understanding of symbols proposed by the German philosopher Ernst Cassirer and developed by his followers, interpreters and authors of post-structural and phenomenological symbol theories (Langer, 1954; Goodman, 1988; Bourdieu, 1991; Janz, 2001; Dreher, 2003). This dissertation also sets the task of comparing symbols between tabloid and quality press to test whether there are any visible differences between them in terms of symbol selection and in terms of their qualities and relations. One of the findings of this research is the cross-national symbol that unites all three countries. This is the symbol-concept "barricade". It is the most visible symbol in the Polish and German media coverage of the Euromaidan life-world and the third most visible symbol in the Ukrainian media. The biggest number of symbols in all three countries under study is grouped around the symbolic representation "struggle against dictatorship".
symbol, symbolic representation, symbolic form, conception, concept, universality, ideality, life-world, experience, meaning, protest, EuroMaidan, culture, media, tabloid, quality weekly, visibility, spatiality, temporality, numbering, power, violence, conflict
Bezpiatchuk Zhanna. Symbolic representations of protest life-world in media: comparative cross-national analysis of Euromaidan case : doctoral thesis / Zhanna Bezpiatchuk; supervisor D. Orlova ; co-supervisor V. Yermolenko; National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Yuchymenko Family Doctoral School, PhD Program “Mass Communications”. - Kyiv, 2017. - 375 p.