Delegitimizing multicultural education: populist politicians in Norway and the weaponizing of the autobiographical genre
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Politics and Society. 2019. 10.1080/23745118.2019.1683984
The rise of populism in Norway has witnessed sustained efforts at undermining multicultural education. Given their distrust of established and mediated channels of public communication, several populist politicians seem to favour the autobiographical genre as a medium amenable to their rhetoric of ‘direct communication with the grassroots’. This study employs critical autobiographical research to four populist politicians’ autobiographical writings. It explores the discursive use of autobiography in undermining immigrants and the multicultural in a country that has experienced rapid demographic change. Drawing upon Stuart Hall's discourse on race and difference, the study unpacks a discourse that delegitimizes the multicultural by conflating it with determinist, xenophobic tropes – immigrants refuse to integrate, learn the language and espouse liberal values, among others.