Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Herzog, B., Lance Porfillio, A.
Talking with racists: insights from discourse and communication studies on the containment of far-right movements
(2022) Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9 (1)

DOI: 10.1057/s41599-022-01406-y

The rise of the far right is threatening the antifascist consensus that helped rebuild Europe and the world following World War II. Discourse studies have done much to further the understanding of the success as well as the fallacies of the discourses of far-right movements and have provided the means by which to comprehend right-wing communicative strategies. However, it has also been said that the reactions of the democratic majority and the mainstream media have contributed—mainly involuntarily—to the success of right-wing politics. The role of the reactions of society, the democratic majority and the mainstream media in trying to counter right-wing discourses is widely underexplored. The aim of this contribution is to understand the diverse material and symbolic effects of certain practices of political contestation. It aims to help elaborate counterstrategies against the threat of the far right and to present communicative strategies against hate. With the help of such diverse authors as Foucault, Goffman or Habermas, we will show how democratic positions seem to be in an ideological dilemma in which the speech acts that try to counter far-right discourses very often produce the opposite effect. The article can help to overcome the pitfalls and performative contradictions of some discursive practices especially in public communications. © 2022, The Author(s).

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