Adapting the therapeutic discourse to post-soviet media culture: The case of Modnyi prigovor

Julia Lerner, Claudia Zbenovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this article we present a close reading of the discursive media transformation generated by "Fashion Verdict"-a makeover reality show broadcast on Russian TV. Our analysis reveals that the adopted genre of therapeutic culture constitutes a new mode of talk about personal experience in the post-Soviet media, a mode based on pop-psychological assumptions and linked to the discursive practice of psychotherapy. However, we show that in post-Soviet popular culture the global therapeutic talking culture encounters powerful cultural counterparts. Apart from psychotherapy, the TV courtroom transformation works by shifting three other discursive frames of articulation of individual and personal life: communist Comrades' Court, soviet Kitchen Talk, and glamorous Fashion Show. Combining an anthropological approach with conversational and frame analysis, we decipher how the familiar discursive forms of talking about personal life domesticate the therapeutic discourse in the Russian communicative culture: they pave the way for its acceptance and concomitantly contest and possibly undermine the ideas that the therapeutic culture brings in.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-849
Number of pages22
JournalSlavic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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