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Tolerance or truth?: The good, the bad and the political in the discourse of the American Family Association
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This master’s thesis conducts a discourse analysis on a political organization within the New Christian Right (NCR), the American Family Association (AFA). The purpose of the study is to analyze the conditions of possibility for a politics that aims to prevent progress for LGBT rights and does so by analyzing the political terrain where operations of power produce particular and meaningful political practices. As analytical tools the study relies on a theory of the political by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, who together with Michel Foucault also provide an elaborate theory of power. Theoretical work by Wendy Brown provides insights into how politics can be expressed when social antagonisms are prevented from engaging in political contestation. Results of the discourse analysis trace social antagonisms in AFA discourse to a dislocation of the social where new articulatory practices have established new relationships between elements of discourse and thereby also changed the nature of social intelligibility and interaction. AFA discourse articulates family values based on the privileged signifiers of freedom, democracy and rights, which is utilized both for a separatist politics of discrimination and an inclusive politics of social assimilation. AFA discourse shows many points of antagonism and organizes an enemy in postmodernism. Freedom as a mode of governmentality conditions the political demands that are and can be made which can be traced to a hegemonic neoliberal articulation. AFA discourse challenges neoliberal hegemony through the process of separatism, yet is intimately bound to the hegemonic way of making political demands in order to gain discursive strength and legitimacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 59 p.
Keyword [en]
usa, american politics, new christian right, religious right, the political, tolerance, LGBT, LGBT rights, discrimination, neoliberalism, progress, polarization, discourse analysis
Keyword [sv]
kristna högern, amerikansk politik, usa, tolerans, diskriminering, diskurs, diskursanalys, HBT, HBT rättigheter, populism, högerpopulism, det politiska, nyliberalism, polarisering
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82444OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82444DiVA: diva2:567813
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
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Available from: 2012-11-21 Created: 2012-11-14 Last updated: 2012-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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