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Performance at the Edge of Apocalypse: An ethnographic study of collective identity construction in a neo-nationalist social movement in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In several countries of the Global North, right-wing parties are successfully mobilizing public support, influencing political debates and introducing arguments and rhetorics that draw on xenophobia, populism and ethnocentrism, ostensibly with a purpose to amplify the “national order of things” (Malkki 1992). This thesis addresses this development by providing an ethnography, based fieldwork, of the Swedish social movement Folkets Demonstration, which arranges anti-government manifestations on squares most usually in Stockholm. Drawing on classical theories on performance by Victor Turner and Erving Goffman, I investigate how the demonstrations of the movement facilitate the construction of a collective identity of “the people”, which also includes exploring the world view of the demonstrators.

As I argue, through the socio-emotionality of the demonstrations, the movement conducts a cultural performance of national cohesion vis-à-vis the Swedish national community, cosmologically perceived as on the edge of an apocalypse due to immigration and the alleged cosmopolitanist agenda of the government. In addition, I argue that the demonstrations can be understood as strategically managed towards idealized performances of democracy. Hence, the demonstrations can be considered regressive-utopian performances of a national-democratic community, furthermore embedded in a polarization between “the people” and “the elite” and through which the collective identity of “the people” is constructed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 62
Keywords [en]
Populism, Performance, Neo-nationalism, Social movement, Identity, Democracy, Emotions
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145007DiVA, id: diva2:1119712
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Available from: 2017-07-05 Created: 2017-07-04 Last updated: 2017-07-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf