Abstract

The article attempts to apply the Ibarra-Kitsuse constructionist model of rhetorical idioms, counterrhetorics, motifs and claims-making styles to the LiveJournal posts about police brutality in Russia. The analysis of the blog posts evoked by the death of detainee Sergei Nazarov after rape tortures in Dalny police station (city of Kazan) in March, 2012 reveals that Nazarov’s case is considered by bloggers in the context of violence by the Russian police as a whole, that police brutality is interpreted by the blogosphere as a wide-spread phenomenon and that Nazarov’s death was the catalyst for the mainstreaming of latent tension. The main rhetorical idioms used by bloggers are the rhetoric of endangerment (danger to citizens by the police), the rhetoric of entitlement (concerning ex-prisoners) and the rhetoric of calamity (concerning Vladimir Putin’s presidency).

Keywords: social problems, claims-making, blog, blogosphere, rhetoric, rhetorical idioms, counterrhetorics, motifs, claims-making style