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Apocalypse on the net

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

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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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Chapter 6: The end is nigh. General conclusions

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129 Chapter 6 The end is nigh. General conclusions Apocalyptic themes are constituent to extreme rightist and nationalist imaginaries (Berlet, 1999). This work has addressed the strategies used on the internet by the Romanian New Right to create dystopian futures, to manipulate emotions, to re-construct Romanianess, Europeaness, whiteness and, in contrast, Otherness. The New Right blog is not a peripheral phenomenon. Mapping the links the blog collects indicates an intimate relation between various types of media in Romania addressing apocalyptic macro-themes. The theoretical chapter presented a complex of media and sociological theories, addressing the agenda setting theory, the cyberconflict, the perverse effects of globalization, belonging to ethnicities and being white, and an array of emotions – fear, anxiety, anger, hate - and their understanding in sociology. A historical setting was briefly described so as to understand how the national idea has evolved in Romania and how it relates to the internet and to media in general. This was then followed by an empirical descriptive chapter and an analysis chapter, in which the apocalyptic narratives on the New Right blog were addressed in detail. The recurrent extreme threat themes on the blog were Islamization, de- Christianization, demographic decline and immigration in Europe and Hungarization and Gypsification of Romania. An analytical view over the apocalyptic processes showed that the New Right blog uses textual and visual strategies that combine into emotional and interactional macro-strategies, designed to manipulate emotions and to reconstruct realities. An analysis of the sources that the blog uses showed that...

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