Pray for the fatherland! Discursive and digital strategies at play in nationalist political blogging
Political blogs have come to constitute important channels for expressing nationalist and anti-immigration political views. The new forms that this rhetoric may take, comprising an intricate intermingling of verbal, digital, (audio-)visual, and communicative elements, present challenges for qualitative research. In this article we propose a way for analysing this “new” nationalist political discourse from a qualitative social psychological perspective. The suggested approach combines analytical procedures form critical discursive and rhetorical psychology with social semiotic and rhetorical studies of images, completed with analytical tools and concepts from narrative psychology and research into online political communication. Using two empirical examples of nationalist and anti-immigration political blog-entries written during the 2015 “refugee crisis,” we show this approach enables the researcher to adequately study how such political messages are conveyed through the multitude of elements provided by the blogs. In so doing, our ultimate goal is to contribute to the analytical capacity of qualitative social psychological research into contemporary political communication and persuasion.
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