The Crisis of Political Correctness in Western Media Space

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-7-102-110

T. Rovinskaya (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation


The article deals with issues related to the evident crisis of the ideology of political correctness in reference to the media landscape of Western countries (including the mass media, public sphere and Internet). The author addresses the roots of the phenomenon, the history of its genesis in the Western world, analyzes its specifics and flaws in terms of the modern information society. The use of the politically correct language is discussed in connection with its sociopolitical impact. Special emphasis is placed on ambiguity and inconsistency of the phenomenon, which inevitably raise social and political controversy. On the one hand, there is a vivid contradiction between the freedom of speech as a key democratic principle and the requirements of political correctness that strictly limit this kind of freedom. On the other hand, the initially well-meaning practice against any kind of discrimination (as the political correctness was meant to be) easily turns into a doubletalk and manipulation technology (which is widely used in media and politics today). Such duality underlies the crisis of the ideology of political correctness coming into sharp focus exactly in the media field. This situation is potentially dangerous, is fraught with radicalization of society and eradication of democratic values. Despite the prevalence of political correctness in Western countries, there is also the inner ideological and political opposition to it (mostly represented by the right and far-right forces). The author comes to a conclusion there are only two possible ways out of this situation: either the ideology of political correctness outlives and transforms into something new, or the freedom of speech principle is wholly discredited hence ruining the core of democracy and giving way to a permanent controversy between politically charged media and independent public Internet as citizens’ tribune (which is customary for more authoritarian societies in the information era).


political correctness, politically correct, politically incorrect, ideology, “cultural Marxism”, media space, discrimination, minorities, freedom of speech, doubletalk


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For citation:
Rovinskaya T. The Crisis of Political Correctness in Western Media Space. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2019, vol. 63, No 7, pp. 102-110.

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