It’s more about “us” than “them” : Immigrants and citizens in the discourse of the right-wing leader and online forum members.
Sammanfattning: The rising support for right-wing populist parties and the subsequent anti-immigrant sentiment has become a focus of interest across academia, media, and public debates. In a similar vein, this thesis explores the portrayal of immigrants and citizens by the Swedish right-wing party Sweden Democrats leader and by the members of the Swedish online forum Flashback. The theoretical framework draws on the approaches- discourse theory and discursive psychology from discourse analysis that facilitated in examining the speeches and debates by the SD leader as well as the comments of the forum members. Whereas the results highlight the Sweden Democrats leader’s discourses constructing immigrants as a burden, the forum members are noted as constructing the immigrants as inherently flawed. Further, while the leader views the citizens as victims, who are denied their rights to resources and welfare, the forum members also describe themselves/citizens as victims, however, due to being denied a sense of belonging, autonomy, and prestige. The study also focused on identifying the strategies that both deploy to be persuasive. The results showed both using blame and victimization as strategies to be persuasive. The SD leader, by blaming the ruling party and victimizing the citizens is noted as aiming to create a grand discourse of- Country in Crisis, and thereby, comes across as seeking to instill fear, threat, and vulnerability among citizens. In contrast, the forum members are marked as blaming the immigrants, ruling elites as well as Swedish women, and victimizing themselves, and seem more focused on creating the discourse of People in Crisis. By doing so, they are noted as justifying their anger, disempowerment, and woundedness. Together, the leader and the forum-members discourses are viewed as creating a broader discourse that could benefit from further examination of the notions such as pessimistic persuasion, the powerlessness of us/we, and othering the insider.
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