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This is a qualitative text-analytic study of the discursive representations of anti-immigration positions in Scandinavian press 1970–2016. Our study shows how immigration critics textually are estranged and constituted as an other throughout the period. We examine how three main categories of immigration critics are estranged: extremists, populist politicians, and critical citizens. Within these categories, we find manifest estrangement through demonizing and ridiculing. We call this category of rhetorical work for conspicuous estrangement. However, we also find more subtle hints of illegitimacy or alienation in the portrayals. We call this category of rhetorical work of marginalization for inconspicuous estrangement. While other studies have argued that such forms of soft oppression may prepare the ground for forms of hard oppression and increased marginalizing, our study demonstrates that representations instead move toward legitimation, indicating a normalization of populist politics and anti-immigration attitudes in Scandinavia. Our findings thus support research arguing that a mainstreaming of the radical right has occurred.

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This page is a summary of: The other other. Representations and rhetorical estrangement of anti-immigration positions in Scandinavian print media, 1970 – 2016, Poetics, April 2021, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.poetic.2021.101529.
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