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Russian Speakers in Post-Soviet LatviaDiscursive Identity Strategies$
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Ammon Cheskin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697434

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697434.001.0001

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Examining Russian-Speaking Identity from Below1

Examining Russian-Speaking Identity from Below1

(p.103) Chapter 5 Examining Russian-Speaking Identity from Below1
Russian Speakers in Post-Soviet Latvia

Ammon Cheskin

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 5 moves away from an analysis of so-called elite discourse and instead analyses discourses and understandings of Russian speakers at the ground level. This chapter is based on focus group interviews with groups of Russian speakers in Riga. As part of this analysis, focus group participants were asked to respond to various quotations that were picked out from the previously-conducted media analysis (Chapter 4). This data was used to assess media effects in the Latvian context. Their responses are analysed and comparisons are made between elite production of discourse and its ground-level consumption.The influence of discourses which emanate from Russia and from Latvia is also analysed as part of an attempt to understand how Russian speakers are negotiating their sense of identity and homeland in Latvia. The analysis distinguishes between cultural and political identities which result in varying forms of attraction for the respective Russian and Latvian spaces.

Keywords:   Focus groups, Cultural identity, Political identity, Latvia, Identity, Homeland, Media effects, Bottom-up analysis, Russian identity, Russia

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