The Dangerous Discourse of “Us” vs. “Them:” Spain’s VOX Discursive Practices Cover Image

The Dangerous Discourse of “Us” vs. “Them:” Spain’s VOX Discursive Practices
The Dangerous Discourse of “Us” vs. “Them:” Spain’s VOX Discursive Practices

Author(s): Francisco de Borja Navarro
Subject(s): Migration Studies, Asylum, Refugees, Migration as Policy-fields
Published by: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Fakulta sociálních věd
Keywords: VOX; Spanish government; discursive strategies; perlocutionary acts; discourse analysis;

Summary/Abstract: Since the entry of the far-right party VOX into the Spanish government administrations in 2018, Spain’s political scene has gone through a deep transformation. The disparity in opinions among the different parties concerning migration seems to tear the country’s democratic foundation apart. This paper is a study of the language and discursive strategies used by VOX’s leader, Santiago Abascal, articulating the party’s populist propaganda for a united country to “make Spain great again.” The analysis was grounded on the theoretical underpinnings of Wodak’s (2001) discursive strategies and Van Dijk’s (1993) “Us” vs. “Them” framework. The data were based on Abascal’s closing political campaign speech during the Madridlenian elections, which was televised in May 2021. Th e 30-minute video recording was transcribed, annotated, coded, and analyzed. The findings suggest a pattern of discursive practices aimed at diminishing other political parties and their representatives, vilify immigrants, and impugn government measures that were against VOX’s authoritarian conservatism and nationalism. Th ere was a predominant use of predication strategies to positively present VOX while denigrating its political rivals. Referential/nomination strategies were also used to divide the society between in-groups and out-groups. Strongly embedded in these strategies were perlocutionary acts used to incite hate toward the out-groups and evoke fear and anxiety toward the in-group, strategically employed as tools to gain votes in the elections.

  • Issue Year: 16/2022
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 211-233
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: English