Russia–U.S. Kruzhki-Storyshops and Education Cultural Diplomacy as Soft Power: Communicating Metaphorical Shared Experiences in the Era of Disruptive Innovation

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Russian Journal of Communication




This essay adopted the rhetorical tradition from communication theory’s seven traditions. Within this rhetorical tradition, the essay centered on the roles of metaphors in communication. The essay adapted the categories of Nye’s power typology to frame its rhetoric. Historically, Russian kruzhki storytelling circles were elite-centric where abstract and action ideas were generated and distributed. Today’s Russian kruzhki and their American storyshop equivalents are more mass-centric. The authors highlight three types of Russia–U.S. kruzhki-storyshops: sports diplomacy and hockey metaphor, comrade cowboys diplomacy and horse metaphor, and nongovernment organization diplomacy and innovation and entrepreneurship metaphor, which serve as models for education cultural diplomacy. To improve Russia–U.S. relations via communications, the authors propose discovering and sharing the rhetoric of common metaphors. The authors think that crafting the rhetoric of metaphors will advance communication theory and the soft-power practices among Russians and Americans, especially in the Era of Disruptive Innovation.

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