Article published in:Discourse and politics of migration in Italy: The production and reproduction of ethnic dominance and exclusion
Edited by Monica Colombo
[Journal of Language and Politics 12:2] 2013
► pp. 180–202
Continuity and change in anti-immigrant discourse in Italy
An analysis of the visual propaganda of the Lega Nord
Anti-immigrant political arguments have long been at the centre of the campaigning of the Lega Nord (the Northern League), the Italian extreme-right secessionist party. The paper analyses posters from political campaigns between 2001 and 2008 in order to detect similarities and differences emerging over time, and to show how continuity and change intertwine in the Lega Nord’s anti-immigrant discourse. The analysis is presented across two axes: first, the visual dimensions of the texts are examined, concentrating predominantly on the use of images; and second, we analyse the linguistic content of the leaflets, paying particular attention to referential strategies and argumentative structure. The sampled posters show that although the Lega Nord’s immigration policies have long been driven by an enduring basic antipathy towards foreigners, in the 2008 campaign the strategy shifted to one stressing arguments reminiscent of the Nouvelle Droite’s ethnopluralism. Accordingly, in the interest of respecting cultural diversity, the Lega Nord argues that different national communities need to be kept separate, thereby inverting liberal values for the purpose of countering multiculturalism.
Keywords: Lega Nord, extreme-right politics, political posters, anti-immigrant discourse, Critical Discourse Analysis, Multimodal discourse, visual rhetoric
Published online: 02 August 2012
Cited by other publications
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