The Intersections of Sexuality and Religion in the Anti-Interculturalist Rhetoric in Finnish Internet Discussion on Muslim Homosexuals in Amsterdam
Lähdesmäki, T., & Saresma, T. (2014). The Intersections of Sexuality and Religion in the Anti-Interculturalist Rhetoric in Finnish Internet Discussion on Muslim Homosexuals in Amsterdam. In J. Gourlay, & G. Strohschen (Eds.), Building Barriers and Bridges: Interculturalism in the 21st Century (pp. 35-48). Inter-Disciplinary Press. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848883253_005
DisciplineNykykulttuurin tutkimusTaidehistoriaHyvinvoinnin tutkimuksen yhteisöContemporary CultureArt HistorySchool of Wellbeing
© the Authors © Inter-Disciplinary Press. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
In recent decades, Europe has faced the rise of nationalist populist movements objecting to increased immigration, cultural pluralisation, and interculturalism in European societies. Public discussion on interculturalism have often focused on the encounters of – and the wrangles with – migrants and local people and their diverse values. The members of anti-immigrant movements commonly object to cultural pluralism and intercultural practices and foster ‘traditional’, ‘Western’, and ‘national’ values. The discourse influenced by conservative ideologies also often embraces traces of xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny. In this paper, we ask how and why interculturalism is opposed in populist discourses. Focusing on identity formations we ask how the groups of ‘us’ and ‘others’ are produced, and analyse the rhetorical means used in demonizing others. Intersectionality as the critical recognition of hierarchically organized and constantly negotiated identity categories, such as gender, ethnicity, sexuality, social class, and religion, is our key methodological concept in analysing the complexity of the meaning-making processes in populist discourses. As our case, we analyse an article on Muslim homosexuals in Amsterdam, published in the widely read Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (3 March 2013), and the vivid discussion that followed in the online discussion forum of the newspaper. The paper demonstrates that notions of gender and sexuality are topics which can be flexibly utilized in populist discourses. On the one hand, the populist discourses are often profoundly heteronormative, fostering the idea of nuclear family, traditional gender roles, and hierarchical gender binarity. On the other hand, they may explicitly support gender equality and gay rights when the values promoted in the discourse are facing ‘a bigger threat’: immigration and Islam. In this case, the populist discourse can even aim to rhetorically normalize homosexuality and gender equality as an indication of developed Western rights and civilized values. ...
Parent publication ISBN978-1-84888-325-3
Is part of publicationBuilding Barriers and Bridges: Interculturalism in the 21st Century
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