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“I just want to be the friendly face of national socialism”: The turn to civility in the cultural expressions of neo-Nazism in Sweden

   | 03. März 2021


This article is based on a case study of the media narratives of the neo-Nazi organisation Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) and situates this particular actor within the broader landscape of violent extremism in Sweden today. Drawing on a qualitative content analysis informed by narrative inquiry, I examine various cultural expressions of neo-Nazi ideology in NRM's extensive repertoire of online media. Theoretically, I turn to cultural perspectives on violent extremism to bring to centre stage the role of popular culture and entertainment in the construction of a meaningful narrative of community and belonging built around neo-Nazism in Sweden today. The analysis explores the convergence between different genres, styles, and content into new cultural expressions of national socialism which bleed into mainstream Internet culture and political discourse in new ways. In the online universe of NRM, the extreme blends with the mainstream, the mundane and ordinary with the spectacular and provocative, and the serious with the silly. In this manner, the analysis lays bare the strategies through which NRM seeks to soften, trivialise, and normalise neo-Nazi discourse using the power and appeal of culture and entertainment.

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Sozialwissenschaften, Kommunikationswissenschaften, Massenkommunikation, Kommunikation in Politik und Öffentlichkeit