This study aims to unpack the styles of discourse adopted and implemented by the Manosphere, an online community of self described Men's Rights Activists (MRAs) and “Red Pillers”. Through a Critical Discourse Analysis of Manosphere texts, the research explores how issues of gender and race inform the culture and politics of the community. It identifies common linguistic markers that distinguish the Manosphere from the historical Men's Rights Movement and liken it instead, to the the Alt-Right movement. For example, devices like metaphor, hyperbole and dog whistles operate in the discourse as modes for negotiating meaning making and accelerating the dissemination of extreme right discourse in mainstream political spaces. I argue that this process in part explains why particularly since 2016 and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, political sentiment has become more open to the iterations of misogyny and racism emblematic of the Manosphere. I reference and reflect upon the renewed push towards gender normative thinking and how it intersects with ultranationalism in Manosphere discourse. Finally, I explore how best to categorize the Manosphere—as an ideology, a political formation or something else entirely.
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Thesis advisor: Poyntz, Stuart
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