Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Triggers and Tropes: The Affective Manufacturing of Online Islamophobia

Abdel-Fadil, Mona
International Journal of Communication

Islamophobia, the idea that Islam is an insurmountable cultural threat to Christianity and “the West,” is widely circulated online. Right-wing populists, affectively perform their identities and Islamophobic worldviews in ways that trigger fear, rage, and a range of other emotions in both themselves and sets of significant others. Here I examine typical online Islamophobic metanarratives, emotional triggers and tropes, and the ways in which they are designed to spread and heighten negative emotions and orchestrate collectives of political emotion. Using a Norwegian right-wing alternative media platform as an empirical example, I demonstrate how Ruth Wodak’s seminal work on “the politics of fear” can be paired with my conceptual framework “the politics of affect” to make better sense of affective performances of Islamophobia on social media.