Chapter published in:Imagining the Peoples of Europe: Populist discourses across the political spectrum
Edited by Jan Zienkowski and Ruth Breeze
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 83] 2019
► pp. 229–256
Standing up for ‘real people’
UKIP, the Brexit, and discursive strategies on Twitter
Right wing populism has always been exclusionary in nature and relies on classic positive in-group/negative out-group constructions (van Dijk 1998). This chapter investigates how the UK Independence Party (UKIP) discursively constructed ‘the people’ during the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum campaign. It will be argued that ‘the people’ were defined in opposition to two key groups: Elite mainstream political actors and migrants. The consequence of this strategy has been the legitimisation of race hate crimes and a further conceptual separation of ‘the people’ from the political classes. Data is taken from the UKIP twitter account and I qualitatively analyse this by paying particular attention to topoi and to the discursive construction of ‘the people’ as a social actor.
Keywords: UKIP, Brexit, referendum, Twitter, social media, populism, critical discourse analysis, argumentation
Published online: 13 August 2019
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Cited by 7 other publications
Brusenbauch Meislova, Monika & Steve Buckledee
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