Features of Constructing Representations Regarding Intractable Intergroup Conflicts in the Russian and Ukrainian Media Discourse

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The phenomenon of intractable intergroup conflict is being actively studied in modern foreign psychology. The study of conflicts of this type is now becoming especially important due to the increase in their number in today’s reality. Of great importance are the works of the Israeli scientific school, which considers the phenomena of the ethos of the conflict, the collective memory of the conflict and the collective emotional orientation, which are the basis for interpreting information about the conflict situation. Despite the large number of models and approaches, there are still quite a few gaps in the research of intractable conflicts (for example, there is no generally accepted definition of an intractable conflict, and many research methods are poorly operationalized). The representations regarding an intractable conflict in the Russian and Ukrainian media discourse are analyzed. The ways of constructing such representations in the media discourse are considered through a reference to the socio-psychological infrastructure of the conflict. The main research method was critical discourse analysis in the interpretation of J. Potter and M. Weatherell. It was found that in both Russian and Ukrainian media discourse representations regarding the conflict were constructed through references to the ethos of the conflict: in particular, through the justification of group goals, the presentation of the opponent’s actions as illegitimate and unfair, the victimization of opposition groups, and the maintenance of positive image of the group. It was revealed that in both Russian and Ukrainian media there are references to collective memory, but the frequency of their occurrence does not allow to talk about a trend. The results can be used to develop measures to reduce bias in media coverage of conflicts. The prospects for further research are discussed, in particular, the analysis of intractable conflict representations in audiences of different media and their comparison with those repertoires that have been identified in the media discourse.

About the authors

Anna M. Potanina

Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education

Author for correspondence.
Email: a.m.potan@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4358-6948
SPIN-code: 6840-4027
ResearcherId: AAF-9474-2021

Research Fellow, Laboratory of Psychology of Self-Regulation

9 Mokhovaya St, bldg 4, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

Varvara I. Morosanova

Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education

Email: morosanova@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7694-1945
SPIN-code: 4335-5542
Scopus Author ID: 6506351065
ResearcherId: J-5946-2016

ScD in Psychology, Head of the Laboratory of Psychology of Self-Regulation

9 Mokhovaya St, bldg 4, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2023 Potanina A.M., Morosanova V.I.

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