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Conceptualizations of Women in European populist radical right parties

The Frauenmuseum in Meran, Italy invites to the talk with Lily Setary:

What is a Woman? – Conceptualizations of Women in Marine Le Pen’s National Front and in the Alternative for Germany

The recent success of European populist radical right parties (PRRP) raises the question how they will influence public opinion and policies regarding women.

Despite numerous suggestions in the literature about their allegedly sexist views on women, the evolving place of women in the ideologies of PRRP deserves more systematic research. A thorough understanding of what being a woman means or should mean according to PRRP ideology is a crucial step towards an evaluation and prediction of their political positions towards women. Therefore, this dissertation investigates whether five ‘versions of women’ identified in the literature (nurturer, free woman, sex object, victim, enemy) appear in party documents of the French National Front (FN) and the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and to what extent these conceptualizations can be considered sexist. Assuming that concepts are socially constructed, particularly through the use of language and images, a qualitative content analysis of speeches given by party officials, and of campaign posters, was carried out. Despite belonging to the same party family, the FN and AfD differ in some ways, which enables a comparison inspired by a Most Different Systems Design logic. According to this, similar findings in different units of comparison increase the generalizability of the findings. It was found that the conceptualizations of women in the FN and the AfD are to a considerable extent, albeit in sometimes differing ways, sexist. More precisely, women are objectified by the parties and overwhelmingly evoked to promote their agendas. In the face of the growing acceptance and influence of PRRP on politics, this is concerning.

17 September 2018, 20:00

Frauenmuseum in Meran, Italy