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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2014, Issue 202


Teleological historical narrative as a strategy for constructing political antagonism: The example of the narrative of Estonia's regaining of independence

Peeter Selg / Rein Ruutsoo
Published Online: 2014-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2014-0063


We analyze Estonian history-writing on Estonia's regaining of independence in light of the semiotic theory of hegemony. Besides articulating this theory as a framework for analysis we provide an account for the application of its general categories to history-writing as a specific system of meaning by introducing concepts from theories of history/historical memory. We chart how via representing Estonia's transition in the form of teleological narrative a political antagonism is constructed between the “proponents” and “opponents” to Estonia's independence, and how several important aspects of Estonia's process of transition are peripherized and excluded from the narrative representation of the transition.

Keywords: semiotic theory of hegemony; history-writing; narrativized history; teleological narrative; antagonism; Estonia's regaining of independence

About the article

Peeter Selg

Peeter Selg (b. 1979) is a senior research fellow at Tallinn University and the University of Tampere 〈pselg@tlu.ee〉. His research interests include political theory, political analysis, methodology of the social sciences, and discourse theory. His publications include “A political-semiotic introduction to the Estonian ‘bronze-night’ discourse” (2013) and “The politics of theory and the constitution of meaning” (2013).

Rein Ruutsoo

Rein Ruutsoo (b. 1947) is a professor at Tallinn University and associate professor at the University of Helsinki 〈ruutsoo@tlu.ee〉. His research interests include theory of civil society, transnationalization, and post-communist transition. His publications include “Center and periphery: perestroika and ideas of political reform” (in Estonian, 2012); and “Becoming postnational? Citizenship as discourse and practice among ‘transnationals’ ” (with Mari-Liis Jakobson & Leif Kalev, 2012).

Published Online: 2014-10-01

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2014, Issue 202, Pages 365–393, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2014-0063.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Munich/Boston.Get Permission

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