Anti-EU and Anti-LGBT Attitudes in Poland : Considering Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence
2015-10-01, Chojnicka, Joanna
The purpose of this study is to investigate anti-EU and anti- LGBT attitudes in Poland on the basis of quantitative evidence (statistical data) and qualitative evidence (discourse analysis of statements expressed on the Internet). As Euroscepticism seems to frequently appear in conjunction with prejudice against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual or transgender) persons, the task of this article is to find out whether they may have a common foundation and what it may be. A possible answer, as the article argues, is that both attitudes could be considered symptoms of a deeper, more wide-ranging and fundamental problem—a fear, tension, or anxiety caused by social change, especially the fragmentation of dominant collective (national) identity. The case for such an interpretation of the situation is first made on the basis of existing academic literature and statistical data provided by Eurobarometer and the Polish Public Opinion Research Centre (Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej, CBOS). However, as the text further argues, such quantitative methods have their limitations and should be supported and illustrated with qualitative studies. The article thus proposes an alternative discourse-oriented approach, namely critical discourse analysis (CDA). This approach is used to conduct an introductory, presentational analysis of some examples of anti-EU and anti-LGBT discourse found on the Internet. This analysis shows that sexual minorities represent values so strange and foreign to Polish conservatives that they can only be conceptualized as something imposed by the power which is both new and distant—by Brussels. And the other way round, the European Union’s liberalism and espousal of human rights, including women’s and LGBT rights, makes it impossible for the conservative parts of the Polish society to accept a “European identity”. This means that Euroscepticism and LGBT prejudice are not just occasionally, coincidentally connected expressions of an underlying resistance to change, but that a closer relationship exists between them. Namely, the conservative reluctance or hostility towards both the EU and LGBT is caused by their incompatibility with the patriotic and religious national identity construction.
Nazis vs. occupants : the language of ethnic conflict in Latvian parliamentary debates
2013, Chojnicka, Joanna
The present article, based on approximately 50 hours of audio recordings of Latvian parliamentary sessions from 2009, is concerned with the language of ethnic conflict and competing ideologies in the debates of Saeima (the Latvian Parliament). Principles of critical textual analysis are applied to study the aggressive, offensive, and prejudicial ways in which two blocks –of native and non-native members of the Latvian Parliament– addressed, referred to, and talked about each other. The study analyzes the verbal expressions of conflict — their possible triggers, patterns of linguistic behaviour and outcomes and hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the problem of ethnic conflict and polarization in Latvia.
Stance and politeness in spoken Latvian
2015-06-01, Chojnicka, Joanna
The present article is concerned with the concept of stance and its relationship to face, face work and politeness applied to Latvian spoken discourse. It offers an extensive review of relevant literature on stance and politeness theories, followed by an illustrative analysis of politeness strategies and stance markers found in a radio interview. On this basis, the article argues that stance markers – epistemic, evidential, mirative and hedging devices – may be considered a negative politeness strategy, responding to the speaker’s and hearer’s desire for autonomy. In conclusion, it suggests a hypothesis that could explain differing use of stance markers and politeness strategies by speakers fulfilling varying conversational roles and of various social standing.
Ja es būtu smuks, es gribētu būt meitene! (‘If I Were Pretty, I Would Like To Be A Girl!’) : Debating Transsexualism In The Latvian Parliament
2014-12-01, Chojnicka, Joanna
The article investigates a debate on the issues of legal recognition of gender which took place in the Latvian Parliament in 2009 and which is considered a rich source of material for a two-fold analysis. As an example of gendered discourse, it shows the differences between female and male MPs’ ways of tackling this uncomfortable subject. As a discourse about gender, which allows one to study the speakers’ arguments and attitudes, it reveals prejudice, lack of knowledge and conservative thinking. The analysis thus illustrates the language and arguments employed in the public sphere when discussing face-threatening, taboo topics.
Contesting Hegemonic Gender and Sexuality Discourses on the Web : Latvian and Polish Discourses of Gender Dissidents
2015, Chojnicka, Joanna
Embedded in the framework of positive discourse analysis (PDA), this article investigates the discourse of gender dissidents using the example of Latvian and Polish LGBTQ and feminist blogs. It introduces the distinction between narrative and argumentative blogs, the former representing two types of discourse (normalizing and celebratory) and the latter making use of four different strategies of challenging mainstream frames (inversion, complexification, partial reframing and radical reframing), in their ironic and non-ironic variants. The discussion focuses on the latter. The article argues that the discourse of dissidents may be conceptualized in terms of responding to previously raised hegemonic/mainstream validity claims. Any text belonging to the gender dissident discourse is more or less explicitly positioned with regard to the claims of hetero-normativity and/or male dominance (patriarchy). A claim may be accepted, rejected, reversed, built upon, extended or reclaimed. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of 30 Polish and 19 Latvian LGBTQ/feminist blogs, the article revises some theoretical and methodological assumptions made in previous works, as well as suggests more general conclusions pertaining to the social media discourse of gender dissidents in Latvia and Poland.
Questions in latvian and polish parliamentary debates : a comparative study
2013-06-01, Chojnicka, Joanna
This article examines the use and functions of questions in Latvian and Polish parliamentary debates from the perspective of comparative pragmatics. The research is based on a corpus of 200 utterances excerpted from transcripts of Latvian and Polish parliaments’ sittings from 2009. It uses the typology of questions in interaction developed by ILIE (1999). The paper suggests that differences in the frequency and functions of questions refl ect different degrees of interactionality of a debate, which is a genre that combines monologic and dialogic features. On this basis, the discourse of Polish parliamentary debates is recognized as more interactional than its Latvian counterpart.