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"Give Us Back Sweden!" A Feminist Reading of the (Re)Interpretations of the Folkhem Conceptual Metaphor in Swedish Radical Right Populist Discourse

  • Ov Cristian Norocel
Publishing year: 2013-03-01
Language: English
Pages: 4-20
Publication/Series: NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

The present analysis investigates the discursive redefinitions of the folkhem conceptual metaphor, which accommodates centrally located heteronormative masculinities at the intersection of gender, class, and race. It focuses on recent reinterpretations of this conceptual metaphor as heralded by the main Swedish radical right populist party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), and its leader, Jimmie Åkesson. To do so, the main tenets of conceptual metaphor theory are discussed, and criticisms of the present methodologies are presented, leading to the suggestion of a new, genealogical approach. The research material is then analysed with the help of the proposed method, evidencing Åkesson's use of the national family metaphor over time. An overview of the findings is then provided, and a feminist perspective on the study of radical right populist discourses, with the aid of conceptual metaphor theory, is articulated.


  • Gender Studies
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Communication Studies
  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations


  • ISSN: 0803-8740
Cristian Norocel
E-mail: cristian [dot] norocel [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

Department of Gender Studies


Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
Postal address: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46 46-222 00 00 (operator)
Fax: 046-222 40 04

Faculty of Social Sciences