Recontextualising fascist ideologies of the past: right-wing discourses on employment and nativism in Austria and the United Kingdom

Critical Discourse Studies 6 (4):251-267 (2009)
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In this article, we trace the histories of discourses supporting ‘jobs for natives’ in the UK and Austria using the discourse-historical approach to critical discourse studies. DHA uses four ‘levels of context’ as heuristic devices in critical analysis. In this article, we focus our attention predominantly on the broadest of these, largely eschewing the text internal analysis typical of CDA, in favour of a wider contextual sweep. In this way, we deconstruct and trace the conceptual history of British and Austrian slogans of the extreme right related to issues of un/employment. We argue that slogans such as ‘British Jobs for British workers’ and ‘Austria First’ have been recontextualised into current political rhetoric while carrying historical context-dependent connotations, stemming from pre-World War II colonialism and antisemitism. Hence, we further claim that – although such rhetoric is currently widespread across EU member states – the ideologies and traditions drawn upon are distinct and create specific subtexts to be exploited for political ends; this is part of the discursive strategy of ‘calculated ambivalence’ employed in such rhetoric.



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