Extreme Speech| Ritualized Opposition in Danish Practices of Extremist Language and Thought

Peter Hervik


This article looks at extreme speech practices in Danish weblogs and Facebook comment threads that treat issues of refugees, migration, Islam, and opponents as a cultural war of values and conflict. The article highlights the ritualized ways in which anti-immigrant sentiments are being communicated, received, and responded to. Such recurrent ritualistic communicative patterns include the use of a distinct indignant tone, sarcasm, racialized reasoning, and the use of “high-fives,” as well as a general indifference to facts. The article argues that these online speech patterns can best be understood as a form of “ritualized opposition” that relies on extremist, divisive use of language and a naturalization of racialized difference in its attempt to recruit and consolidate communities of support.


extreme speech, racialization, ritualized opposition, social media, refugees, migrants, Denmark, sarcasm, humor

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