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Subtext and the degree of an author's involvement: what can qualitative analysis of narratives tell us about the actors involved in the process?

As part of our work on categorizing data, we continue to develop the theme of context and subtext reflected in the narratives about the Moscow renovation program. The degree of directness of the address to the audience and the extent to which the author is impersonal or involved in what is happening is not only a distinguishing feature between the narratives of the city administration and concerned citizens, but also an important element for understanding how and why political issues are reflected in the texts.

The governmental bodies involved in the renovation program create a very simple, but at the same time impersonal image of the progress and development that are achieved in the city thanks to the implementation of the renovation program. Their texts are reports on the work done, where the image of the hero looks more collective than specific. And the plots of these reports focus on incremental progress - step by step, the urban environment and living conditions are getting better for Muscovites. Concerned townspeople and activists present their stories differently, their texts contain different connotations, they try to form a more complex image that would help to debunk the stories of progress that the opposite side uses.

During this seminar, we discussed how such elements should be taken into account in the analysis.

The video is available here