Extreme-right communication in Italy and France: political culture and media practices in CasaPound Italia and Les Identitaires
By Pietro Castelli Gattinara and Samuel Bouron
Although the media are ascribed much power in discussions about far-right politics, to date the communicative dimension of extreme right mobilization received little rigorous scholarly attention. To address this gap, this paper addresses the media practices of the extreme right, offering an empirical study of two emerging social movement organizations of this area: CasaPound Italia in Italy and Les Identitaires in France. Rather than treating them as incidental beneficiaries of media populism, the paper disentangles the various ways in which these groups interact with the mass media, discussing the forms and meaning of their activism in relation to extreme right political culture, and differentiating between inward-oriented and outward-oriented media practices. Based on ethnographic observation and semi-structured interviews with far-right militants, the paper shows that media practices not only try to respond to the demands of the media environment in which the groups are embedded, but also seek to reinforce the groups’ internal organization and hierarchy, building collective symbolic imagery, and ensuring ideological consistency among activists and sympathizers. In so doing, the paper offers initial insight on how protest movements of the extreme right consolidate their profile and become recognizable in the public sphere.
Gattinara, P.C. & Bouron, S. (2019), Extreme-right communication in Italy and France: political culture and media practices in CasaPound Italia and Les Identitaires, Journal of Information, Communication & Society