Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 19 Issue 6 (November/December 2009), Pages 393-520

Essentialism and attribution of monstrosity in racist discourse: Right‐wing internet postings about Africans and Jews (pages 411-425)


We investigated a total of 4997 postings on an extreme right‐wing Internet discussion board with regard to the groups and themes mentioned. The most frequently mentioned target groups were Africans, Jews, Muslims, Poles, and Turks; the most prominent themes and contexts were conspiracy, criminality, exploitation, threats to German identity, infiltration, mind control and harassment, procreation, rape, and sex. We analysed in detail postings about Africans/Blacks and Jews, that is target groups that were the most clearly connected to particular themes. The analysis reveals that extreme right‐wing discourse essentializes the target groups of Jews and Africans/Blacks and ascribes them immutable group‐specific attributes that effectively make them ‘natural kinds’. The group of Jews appears as a kind of their own with super‐human powers and influence. Africans and Blacks are despised, firstly because their essential characteristics prohibit them to be categorically mixed with Germans (i.e. to become German by nationality) due to their incompatible essence, and secondly when they procreate with Whites. Such procreation produces ‘bastards’ that are met with disgust. We argue that essentialist thinking about social and ethnic groups explains a good part of their rejection by right‐wing followers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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