"Give Us Back Sweden!" A Feminist Reading of the (Re)Interpretations of the Folkhem Conceptual Metaphor in Swedish Radical Right Populist Discourse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present analysis investigates the discursive redefinitions of the folkhem conceptual metaphor, which accommodates centrally located heteronormative masculinities at the intersection of gender, class, and race. It focuses on recent reinterpretations of this conceptual metaphor as heralded by the main Swedish radical right populist party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), and its leader, Jimmie Åkesson. To do so, the main tenets of conceptual metaphor theory are discussed, and criticisms of the present methodologies are presented, leading to the suggestion of a new, genealogical approach. The research material is then analysed with the help of the proposed method, evidencing Åkesson's use of the national family metaphor over time. An overview of the findings is then provided, and a feminist perspective on the study of radical right populist discourses, with the aid of conceptual metaphor theory, is articulated.


External organisations
  • University of Helsinki
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gender Studies
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Communication Studies
  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-20
Number of pages17
JournalNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes