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Humiliating and dividing the nation in the British pro-Brexit press: a corpus-assisted analysis

Parnell, Tamsin

Humiliating and dividing the nation in the British pro-Brexit press: a corpus-assisted analysis Thumbnail


Authors

Tamsin Parnell



Abstract

Since the United Kingdom’s referendum on European Union (EU) membership in 2016, a new political cleavage of Remainers and Leavers has developed (Kelley, N. [2019]. British social attitudes survey: Britain’s shifting identities and attitudes. (36). National Centre for Research). This paper explores how five pro-Brexit newspapers discursively construct political division in Britain in relation to two key events in the final year of Britain’s EU membership: the extension of the withdrawal process past the original date of March, and the introduction of the Benn Act in September. The paper reveals two primary discursive constructions of division in Britain: a divide between incompetent and arrogant political officials and an innocent, suffering public, and an identity cleavage between pro-Remain ‘elites’ and ‘ordinary’ Leave-voting citizens. The study argues that the construction of these divisions threatens a collective national identity in Britain at a time when it is most required. It concludes that by apportioning blame for socio-political divisions, the newspapers obfuscate their role in contributing to disunity in the UK.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 17, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 24, 2021
Publication Date Sep 24, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2021
Journal Critical Discourse Studies
Print ISSN 1740-5904
Electronic ISSN 1740-5912
Publisher Informa UK Limited
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2021.1983446
Keywords General Social Sciences
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/6396922
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17405904.2021.1983446

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