Othering others: Right-wing populism in UK media discourse on “new” immigration
Document Type Article
Copyright © 2017 John Benjamins Publishing Company. Used by permission.
Right wing populism is on the rise. Through the use of othering, right-wing groups delimit their own identities while excluding others. The purpose of this chapter is to shed light on how European mediated public spheres (such as reader responses to media discourse) constitute an important domain of identity articulation and struggle through the discursive construction of the ‘Other’. In this case, the others come from the Central and Eastern European countries that are perceived as newcomers to Western Europe due to the consecutive enlargements of the European Union. Specifically, this chapter provides an in-depth analysis of 236 reader comments responding to one online article from The Telegraph that discusses “new” immigration from Bulgaria and Romania to the U.K., a result of the lifting of work restrictions in 2014. Applying methods of Conversation Analysis and critical discourse analysis (including relevant EU history and background), we expose numerous levels of othering in the data (e.g. othering those who disagree with right-wing political views, othering the EU, othering non-native speakers, othering migrants/Roma) and demonstrate the various strategies that are used to accomplish this (e.g. argumentation strategies, perspectivization, etc.).