Publications of the Department of Social Research 2017:51
The dissertation examines the blogs of members of the populist radical right parties the Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset) in Finland and the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) in Sweden during 2007-2015. The critical discursive and rhetorical psychological study consists of four sub-studies that explore the blog-discourse of white men, women and ethnic minority members within these parties. Further, the study moves ‘beyond the text’ in its analytical approach. Thus, it explores how (audio-)visual, digital and communicative features contained in political blogs interact with ‘classical’ rhetorical strategies, narrative structures, and socially and culturally rooted discursive resources in the construction of nationalist political arguments.
The study shows that the specific features of the blogs allow for the presentation of socially sensitive and even racist political views without the individual blogger having to express an explicit personal opinion on the matter at hand. Because of these features political blogs seem to constitute an optimal sphere for nationalist political communication and persuasion: they enable the conveying of powerful, credible and emotion-provoking messages, yet they concomitantly protect the blogger from charges of holding racist views.
Nationalist discourse contained in political blogs does not remain in the blogosphere, but becomes circulated in mainstream media and thus influences the broader societal and political debate. In order to grasp the character and societal implications of contemporary political communication and persuasion, this dissertation thus encourages social psychological research to develop its tools for critically studying discourse contained in political blogs.