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    Taboo news about Sweden: the transnational assemblage of a racialized spatial imaginary

    Titley, Gavan (2019) Taboo news about Sweden: the transnational assemblage of a racialized spatial imaginary. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 39 (11/12). pp. 1010-1023. ISSN 0144-333X

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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the construction of Sweden as a racialised spatial imaginary in the emerging transnational networks of far-right media production. Departing from President Donald Trump’s widely reported remarks, in 2017, as to “what happened last night in Sweden”, it examines the racializing discourses through which Sweden is constructed as a dark future to be averted; a failed social experiment in immigration and multiculturalism symbolised by the “no-go zones” held to be dotted, yet denied, in its major cities. While the symbolic production of “problem areas” is a familiar dimension of the politics of immigration, the paper explores why Sweden-as-nation is so insistently and intimately associated with its putative no-go zones in what are termed the “revenge fantasies” of the far-right. Further, it argues that these modes of representation cannot be understood without examining the value of Sweden as a news commodity in the expansive far-right media environment. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis offers the idea of “taboo news” to conceptualise putatively “alternative” news about Sweden which is confirmed through its denial in the mainstream. Findings – It argues that examining the increasing importance of “taboo news” as a commodity form must be integrated into a reading of how these racializing narratives are produced and circulated. Originality/value – In so doing, it examines the shaping of this racialised imaginary as a digital assemblage taking shape as a commodity in a newly emerging and under-researched field of communicative and ideological action.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Sweden; Feminism; Racism; Racialization; Digital media; Immigration; Far-right;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies > Media Studies
    Item ID: 13906
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Gavan Titley
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 14:06
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
    Publisher: Emerald
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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