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The Social Semiotics of Populism : Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics - Sebastián Moreno Barreneche

The Social Semiotics of Populism

By: Sebastián Moreno Barreneche

Paperback | 22 August 2024

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The concept of âpopulismâ is currently used by scholars, the media and political actors to refer to multiple and disparate manifestations and phenomena from across both the left and the right ends of the political spectrum. As a result, it defies neat definition, as scholarship on the topic has shown over the last 50 years. In this book, Sebasti¡n Moreno Barreneche approaches populism from a semiotic perspective and argues that it constitutes a specific social discourse grounded on a distinctive narrative structure that is brought to life by political actors that are labelled âpopulistâ.

Conceiving of populism as a mode of semiotic production that is based on a conception of the social space as divided into two groups, âthe Peopleâ and âthe Otherâ, this book uses semiotic theory to make sense of this political phenomenon. Exploring how the categories of âthe Peopleâ and âthe Otherâ are discursively constructed by populist political actors through the use of semiotic resources, the ways in which meaning emerges through the oppositions between imagined collective actors is explained.

Drawing on examples from Europe, North America and South America, The Social Semiotics of Populism presents a systematic semiotic approach to this multifaceted political concept and bridges semiotic theory and populism studies in an original manner.