BASED, REDPILLED, AND FPBP. Examining identification through discursive/affective practices on 4chan/pol/

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper

Sammanfattning: In a political landscape increasingly more influenced by far-right populism, the potential for political projects aiming to expand democracy is challenged. With the internet becoming an important arena for political discussion, this begs the question of how online spaces function as politically radicalizing. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the production of radicalization through discursive/affective practices and processes on the internet forum 4chan/pol/. I combine perspectives on website function and design with analysis of the discursive/affective practices’ forms and construction of meaning. The 4chan forum has since 2016 become known as a hotspot for far-right discourses. In this thesis, the forum is studied using online ethnography and analysed in a combination of researcher as informant and a discursive/affective framework based on Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory. I highlight a dialectic between disciplining and desire within the discursive/affective practices. This dialectic construct forms of identification through memetic vernacular and anonymous hate-speech inscribed in fascist discourses, resulting in the construction of an in-group. By meshing together online cultural practices and fascist discourse, the forum users’ desire to be part of the forum requires adoption of fascist identity, which produces radicalization.

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