The power of (In)security narratives in populist Social Media: The far-right’s attempt of reclaiming conversation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen; Lunds universitet/Master of Science in Global Studies; Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: This thesis explores the way how far-right populist movements manifest themselves through social media. It approaches the problem by taking a political psychology perspective of ontological security which informs the behavioural need of an individual and groups to search for stable identity narratives to create a secure feeling of biographical continuity. The theoretical assumptions further incorporate the performative reasoning of such social movements to securitize subjectivity and the ‘everyday’ by introducing a post-Copenhagen theory. Both perspectives motivate this thesis to create a new theoretical understanding of ontological security suited to the contemporary media landscape and new forms of political communication. This is followed by a narrative analysis of the Facebook representation of the German Alternative for Germany (AfD). The narrative analysis is executed to spot most salient metanarratives throughout the year 2016 which have the aim to provide pleasing stories and ontological security. The results show that the AfD is relying on real events and ‘small stories’ to frame an ‘enemy within’ and ‘the other’ which threatens a socially constructed Germanness. Through a powerful narrative structure this identity is to be defended by the AfD solely.

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