Go Jimmy go! Go Jimmie go! Voices of Sweden Democrat Supporters

Project: Research

Project Details


During the last couple of decades, right-wing populist parties have gained electoral success and momentum, in Europe as well as globally. In Sweden, the nationalist and populist party Sverigedemokraterna (SD) gained 17,5 % in the latest parliament election (2018) and 15,4 % in the EU election (2019). Their success was connected to the recent refugee situation, in which Sweden welcomed a comparatively large number of refugees. Official politics and politicians were accused of being unable to solve “the crisis”, thus facing a state of interregnum. A general sense of incredulity towards official politics is an issue capitalised on by the nationalist and populist party Sverigedemokraterna (SD) as part of its anti-establishment rhetoric. Right wing populist discourses have gained considerable attention in recent research, but to a much lesser extent have researchers focused on the discourse of the supporters themselves.Therefore, this project addresses the following research questions: What topics are most engaging to supporters ofSverigedemokraterna? What discursive strategies are used by the supporters? In what way are the social media postings of the party drawn upon and recontextualised in comments by the supporters? And what identities are constructed in the discourse of the supporters of right-wing populist parties?

The project primarily uses qualitative discourse analysis to study SD social media posts and comment sections on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. As a first step, a quantitative content analysis will be conducted in order to examine the attention paid to particular topics in different social media channels during the period 230419–020619. The qualitative analysis will depart from a theoretical framework that provides tools for analyzing stance, social positioning, affect and recontextualization. The project will contribute to an understanding of the discourses and motivations of supporters of right wing populism as expressed on social media, as well as an understanding of the relation between the social media strategies (linguistic and semiotic) of right wing populist parties and the supporter behavior (linguistic and semiotic) in comment sections during the EU-election in Sweden 2019.
Effective start/end date2020/01/012020/08/31