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Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Marlin Bates

First Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Second Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Abstract

On August 19, 1991, government hard-liners overthrew the Soviet Union for a period of 72 hours. Boris Yeltsin, the President of Russia, staged a protest on the steps of the Russian White House, where he gave speeches against the coup d'etat, releasing these speeches for dissemination between the hard-liners and the masses gathered to support Yeltsin. Yeltsin 's protest created a constituted identity amongst the people gathered who became part of the protest against the government. This created a confrontation between the two publics, where the state message developed a narrative involving a glorified past to which they wished to return, while the counter-public created a counter-narrative that argued a future of continued reforms would benefit the people of Russia and the Soviet Union. In the end, the counter-narrative achieved stronger approval from the masses, essentially replacing the state's narrative with its own. As a result, the hard-liners lost their grab for power, and Yeltsin emerged the winner in an ideological struggle for the future of the Russia and the Soviet Union.

Pages

125

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