A Social Identity Approach to How Elite Outgroups Are Invoked by Politicians and the Media in Nativist Populism

Shayegh, John and Storey, Lesley and Turner, Rhiannon N. and Barry, John (2021) A Social Identity Approach to How Elite Outgroups Are Invoked by Politicians and the Media in Nativist Populism. Political Psychology. ISSN 1467-9221

pops.12798.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (128kB)


Existing research into nativist populist (NP) rhetoric has shown that elite outgroups can be used by politicians to further anti‐immigration agendas. The social identity functions of elite outgroups outside of cultivating anti‐immigrant prejudice, however, remain poorly understood. In addition, whether populist news media can be considered social identity entrepreneurs in their own right remains an underexplored topic. This study examines the rhetorical use of elite outgroups in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia from a social identity perspective, focusing on political leaders and newspapers op‐eds. Our findings demonstrate shared strategies across the countries and source types: (1) NPs depict elites as working through collusion to undermine trust in information production within society and vie for control of the ingroup informational influence; (2) NPs present themselves as nonelite and more ingroup prototypical on dimensions relevant to the elite collusion (being under attack and equally susceptible); (3) NPs contest ingroup norms through constructions of an anti‐immigrant consensus which is suppressed by elites. We conclude that social identity researchers should pay more attention to the rhetorical functions of elite outgroups in addition to cultivating anti‐immigrant prejudice, and that the media‐as‐identity‐entrepreneur is an important aspect of constructing shared social realities, and mobilizing support, within populism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Wiley via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 20-11-2020; rev-recd 21-10-2021; accepted 02-11-2021; pub-electronic 06-12-2021. ** Licence for VoR version of this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12798
2 November 2021Accepted
6 December 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: social identity, nativist, populism, mobilization
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 13:22
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 13:03
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12514

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...