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Apocalypse on the net

Extreme Threat and the Majority-Minority Relationship on the Romanian Internet


Adela Fofiu

The apocalypse can bring upon the world either termination, either change. By exploring how emotions, ethnic or national belonging and digital technologies work together in constructing an apocalypticizing national self, this book offers a complex analysis of far rightist apocalyptic narratives. Content analysis performed on the blog of the New Right, a far rightist organization from Romania, unveils a fascinating imaginary of fear and hate toward otherness, of strong beliefs that the world, our world, is ending through its transformation into something else – something that we know and, at the same time, do not know and loath. The social psychology of emotions, belonging and identity, the sociology of globalization and studies on cyberhate are intertwined into the exploration and interpretation of on-line apocalyptic narratives that imagine the Gypsification and Hungarization of Romania and the Islamization of Europe as irreversible change.


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The end of the world is everybody’s concern. The relevance of apocalypse and dystopias to mass imaginary is transparent in Umberto Eco’s analysis of Nineteen Eighty Four, the famous novel of Eric Arthur Blair, also known as George Orwell (Eco, 1994). Since 1948, when Orwell finished and published the book, until 1983 – and until today, Eco acknowledges the dystopian satire as becoming part of collective imagination. In the expectation of the end of the world to happen on 1 January 1984, media, arts, cultural and political actors in the USA have organized myriads of events, to use Eco's words, intensifying the preparation for a fatal date. This is just one of the anecdotes that show that the impact of uncontrollable, uncertain and negative futures is greater than social scientists have so far acknowledged. The popular culture that creates mythical heroes who save the world and who are other than religious, like Superman and Batman, has transformed apocalyptic thinking in a mass practice similar to the religious eschatologies, but devoid of religiosity. The modern and post-modern society is profane, thus its fears of the end of the world are no longer sacred. In such a spiritual and religious void, assimilation, segregation or genocide happened at a grater scale and much more often than pluralism. The first three dissolved, marginalized or eliminated others, in order for Us to flourish. The last one, though it was a commendable attempt to promote equality among all, seems in the post-modern era, regarded with a pessimistic...

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