Blogging the Unspeakable: Racial Politics, Bakhtin, and the Carnivalesque

Polly Bugros McLean, David Wallace


The 2006 Democratic primary in New York’s 11th Congressional District saw opposition from the blogosphere to David Yassky, a White legislator running for election in a district created under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s account of carnival, this study uses a qualitative approach to examine how the racial discourse was constructed on two political blogs within a carnivalesque framework. At the same time, this study notes the uniqueness of the discourse between the White bloggers as well as between the Trinidad-born bloggers and their White counterparts. While the bloggers injected themselves into the spectacle of the campaign hoping to impact the election, there were inherent limitations in this new medium.


Mikhail Bakhtin, Voting Rights Act, race, whiteness, picong, blogs, spectacle, political blogging, carnivalesque, politics

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