Political toxicity in the contrastive perspective (Based on American, British and Ukrainian media discourse)

Keywords: political discourse, media discourse, toxicity, conceptual features, semiotization, verbal, paraverbal, non-verbal behavior


This research focuses on the issue of political toxicity in the media discourse of the United States of America, Great Britain and Ukraine. It defines common and distinctive features of semiotization of political toxicity in the media discourse. In political communication, toxicity is understood as a type of interaction between various participants in political discourse, which is characterized by a high degree of aggressive verbal, para- and/or non-verbal behavior and discriminates against the opponent based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc. resulting in such a politician (politicians) being perceived and then defined as toxic. Its purpose is to identify common and different ways and means of semiotization of political toxicity. It is based on methods of associative and identification experiments, computer multimodal analysis, as well as statistical processing of the information received. The study reveals the modes of the toxic effect deployment and the dictums of the politician’s toxic image formation in the their collective, associative-individual, symbolic, and media discourse-portrait. Complex analysis of a politician’s toxic image in different linguistic cultures takes into account the politicians’ behavior as opinion leaders and the coverage of the target audience, to which the effect of their toxic rhetoric extends: one person, a group of people, or the wider community. At the same time, the types of harm resulting from the visualization of the media toxic effect can be aimed at both the psychological states of the addressee and their gender, age, and professional characteristics. The paper determines means of verbal expression of toxicity both by the aggressive-emotional type of the politician and by the socio-cultural features of political struggle in the United States of America, Great Britain, and Ukraine.


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How to Cite
Shkvorchenko, N. (2023). Political toxicity in the contrastive perspective (Based on American, British and Ukrainian media discourse). Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (26), 152-173. https://doi.org/10.26565/2218-2926-2023-26-09