Low Style the High Way: Rhetorical Mainstreaming of Populism

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The chapter presents a rhetorical analysis of a political newsletter from the Danish People’s Party. Drawing on Ostiguy’s “high/low” distinction, Moffitt and Tormey’s conceptualisation of populism as a political style, Saurette and Gunster’s notion of epistemoloigcal populism and the rhetorical concepts second persona, constitutive rhetoric, and iconicity the chapter brings together insights from political science and rhetoric to show how the text attains its rhetorical power by performing the “low” in a “high” manner, i.e. promoting typical populist themes in a pseudo- rational style undergirded by an author persona as a reasonable person simply representing common sense. Analysis of the implied audience reveals how the text appeals to several audiences united by resentment against various “elite” groups. While Ostiguy and Moffitt’s gradational approaches are found highly useful, the article suggests that their key distinctions are challenged by this kind of mainstream populism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVox Populi: How to Give Voice to the People?
EditorsBart van Klink, Henrike Jansen, Ingeborg van der Geest
Publication statusSubmitted - 13 Jun 2019

ID: 186526378