The populism of online communities: Constructing the boundary between "blameless" people and "culpable" others

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Abstract

Populism has become prevalent all across the globe. To date, however, we know too little about the ways in which populist discourse is constructed by citizens on social media. To advance the field, this study draws on a qualitative content analysis of Facebook posts by ordinary citizens in the Netherlands. The results indicate that Facebook offers a discursive opportunity structure for Dutch citizens to vent their populist discontent and to interact with like-minded others. Online populist discourse on Facebook is hostile and uncivil, predominately targeted at the elites and marginalized groups in society. By providing insights into how ordinary citizens construct the boundary between "us" and "them," this article enhances our understanding of the construction of citizens' populist discourse on social network sites (SNSs), and how these expressions contradict the principles of democratic communication.

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APA

Hameleers, M. (2019). The populism of online communities: Constructing the boundary between “blameless” people and “culpable” others. Communication, Culture and Critique, 12(1), 147–165. https://doi.org/10.1093/ccc/tcz009

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