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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the concept and practice of hate speech, the linguistic expression of animus directed at salient persons or groups. The chapter begins by attending to the difficulty of defining hate speech, as well as a review of scholarship wrestling with related questions. This emerges as a performance of animus, one that is both recitational and constructive, and exists in a complex ecology of sociocultural relations that are made real through language form, structure, and functional patterns. Subsequent sections look to the complex linguistic practice of hostility, using the example of Flemish right-wing populist Filip Dewinter and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium. Building on prior studies, a series of discourse strategies are identified and examined, which serve to express overt Islamophobia and covert homophobia, masked by a veneer of pinkwashing. A final section attends to questions of disruption and the charge of critical language scholarship.

Keywords: discourse strategies, hate speech, homophobia, Islamophobia, pinkwashing, right-wing, Belgium

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