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This study focuses on the notion of power as a way of conceptualisation, representation and functioning in the Russian and English-speaking media discourse and its role in the life of the younger generation of the third millennium. Power and its language have always remained an actual research question of interdisciplinary scientific analysis. However, studying young people’s linguistic and paralinguistic perception of power in the era of digitalisation becomes extremely important due to an empowering role young adults have started playing in modern society employing new media and their discursive communication there. The study regards the theoretical background of the phenomenon of power, based on A. Gramsci’s hegemonic approach. The authors of the research suggest that the media discourse is a hegemonic form of power that maintains its position through the elaboration of a particular worldview, which makes a significant impact on young individuals, the so-called net-generation. The study relies on free-associative and graphic experiments to analyse and perceive “power” concept and its influence on young individuals’ consciousness. Results indicate that both Russian and English-speaking media discourse represents “power” through the prism of anthroponyms as well as toponyms. Besides, the findings of the free-associative experiment, conducted among young adults, demonstrated the dominance of the lexical units belonging to the same grammatical class of words as the stimulus word “power”. Furthermore, a graphic experiment revealed young people’s emotional evaluations of power in media discourse communication. As such, the results suggest that “power” is a natural, complex and multifaceted linguacultural and social phenomenon realised through a variety of linguistic and paralinguistic means, and it produces a dualistic effect on young people’s consciousness through their interaction in the media discourse space.
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