Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Angela Kachuyevski

Abstract

Adapting the Ethnographic Discourse Analysis method developed by Stanton Wortham and Angela Reyes this thesis traces the language employed in the ethno-nationalist web series Murdoch Murdoch. While not as widely known as other examples of the burgeoning landscape of far-right internet content such as news sites like InfoWars or Brietbart, Murdoch Murdoch can still reveal crucial details about how far right propaganda seeks to radicalize its viewers. This thesis argues that Murdoch Murdoch uses its visual and discursive indexicals to present a near absolute dichotomy between a Positive Self that consists of white ethno-nationalism, and a Negative Other that includes virtually all other ideologies and people groups. By presenting politics as a choice between these two absolutes and positioning the series’ protagonists as protectors of traditionalism and white identity, Murdoch Murdoch seeks to present demographic changes and social progress as threats to the viewer's ontological security. This thesis then concludes that Murdoch Murdoch’s approach to propaganda is emblematic of methods far-right propaganda has often employed.

Comments

Politics Government and Law Thesis

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Murdoch Murdoch: A Case Study in Threats to Ontological Security in Far-Right Propaganda

Adapting the Ethnographic Discourse Analysis method developed by Stanton Wortham and Angela Reyes this thesis traces the language employed in the ethno-nationalist web series Murdoch Murdoch. While not as widely known as other examples of the burgeoning landscape of far-right internet content such as news sites like InfoWars or Brietbart, Murdoch Murdoch can still reveal crucial details about how far right propaganda seeks to radicalize its viewers. This thesis argues that Murdoch Murdoch uses its visual and discursive indexicals to present a near absolute dichotomy between a Positive Self that consists of white ethno-nationalism, and a Negative Other that includes virtually all other ideologies and people groups. By presenting politics as a choice between these two absolutes and positioning the series’ protagonists as protectors of traditionalism and white identity, Murdoch Murdoch seeks to present demographic changes and social progress as threats to the viewer's ontological security. This thesis then concludes that Murdoch Murdoch’s approach to propaganda is emblematic of methods far-right propaganda has often employed.

 
 

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