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Hate Narratives

Language as a Tool of Intolerance

Iwona Jakubowska-Branicka

Hate Narratives examines the limits of free speech and focuses on the role of language in creating images of reality, and on language’s power to build social relationships based on hatred. The study provides an analysis of language used in totalitarian systems, along with a particular kind of narrative description, namely dogmatic hate narratives, which are used in democratic systems as well. It focuses on the notion that the media and other sources of information create «parallel realities», and that facts created by media are translated into social fact. Central to this line of thought are the determinants by which an individual chooses from among the various broadcasted images of reality.
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In Chapter 4, entitled “The Dogmatic Mentality in Light of Comparative Studies. Research Assumptions and Results,” I discussed the results of international comparative studies conducted in 1996 and research carried out in Poland in 2007 and 2009. The object of analysis were variables like dogmatism, “worldview liberalism,” social conformity, views regarding the legitimacy of the law and the will of the majority, social collectivism, expectations regarding guarantees of social and economic security, and legalism.

As mentioned in Chapter 4, for the purpose of analysis, an index was created for every variable, each of which included questions considered indicative of the given variable, but only those whose presence in the index was legitimized by statistical tests. One could say that the indices were generated over the course of statistical analysis. All the questions included in the analysis were constructed in the same way; each included a claim, and it was the respondent’s task to react to each claim (“fully agree,” “somewhat agree,” “somewhat disagree,” “fully disagree”). This allowed all indices to be created according to the same principle. The answers “fully agree” and “somewhat agree” were recoded as 1; the answers “fully disagree” and “somewhat disagree” were recoded as 2. Then, for each of the respondents counted an average of the questions included in the index. Each respondent had to take a place on the scale between 1 and 2. The last step was to transform the 1–2 scale into a 3-level scale, where a value...

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