Masters of their Own House: A Critical Feminist Analysis of the Sweden Democrats

University essay from Lunds universitet/Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender; Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: This thesis is a critical feminist analysis of the discourse of the Swedish populist radical right party the Sweden Democrats, focusing axes of social differences, power relations and emotions. Through a theoretical framework consisting of intersectional feminist theory and a methodological framework consisting of intersectionality and critical discourse analysis, selected empirical material from the Sweden Democrats is analysed. A central conclusion is that the discourse of the Sweden Democrats can be seen as a defence of essentialism and resistance to change in the social realm. Categories such as nation, ethnicity, ‘race’, gender, sexuality and class are manifested in intersecting and different ways within the analysed material. Some of their central functions are as creators of boundaries of exclusion and inclusion and while others are as parameters for correct and incorrect reproduction of the nation. All in all, the discursive interplay between these social categories places the figure of the ‘Swede’, in particular the heterosexual ‘Swedish’ man, in a central position of power. The role of emotions is the most apparent in texts that are focused on national threats and defence. It is suggested that emotions provide legitimacy for the Sweden Democrats’ nationalist discourse. The role of emotions may also be an important cue to the appeal of a populist radical right party such as the Sweden Democrats.

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