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Representation of the Russian Revolution of 1917 in the Mass Non-Party Press

Student: Anvar Mironov

Supervisor: Alexander Reznik

Faculty: School of Arts and Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

Usually historical studies of the Russian revolution of 1917 ignore subjectivity of social masses focusing on large structures and "grand" personalities. Such an image contradicts researches that proved the importance of popular culture during periods of radical political transformations. When a monopoly of state violence vanishes, cultural authority is used by political actors in the competition for power, and it is important to recreate its dynamics to deliver new narratives over the revolution. Examining the legitimization of leaders and political movements of 1917, this article shows how, and in what images, contemporaries perceived the political transition. It specifically focuses on non-party periodicals – whose contents were indirectly influenced by their readership base – and analyses newspaper narratives by detection of linguistic patterns, associated with external ideological affection. This analysis demonstrates that the public sphere of the revolution was shaped by pressing matters of war. After the short initial period of post-revolutionary encouragement, the military issue once again became highly important. At this point, traditional beliefs embraced socialist rhetoric, and this synthesis became demanded in the political struggle. The "Provisional Government" and its leader failed to meet these expectations that led to their imaginative depersonification. Meanwhile, portraits of radical socialists gained authority as they seemed to fit better for establishing a strong government and resolving the issue of war.

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