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Romania is a family and it needs a strict father : Conceptual metaphors at work in radical right populist discourses

  • Ov Cristian Norocel
Publishing year: 2010-08-05
Language: English
Pages: 705-721
Publication/Series: Nationalities Papers
Volume: 38
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Abstract english

Investigating Romanian radical right populism, I evidence the gendered nature of conceptual metaphors and provide insights on the specific masculinities that they underpin in such political discourses. With the 2004 presidential elections as a backdrop, the analysis focuses on how the radical right populist candidates articulated in their discourses the conceptual metaphor of the "strict father." At first, the theoretical standpoints on conceptual metaphors are corroborated with the conceptualization of populist charismatic leadership. Subsequently, a gendered perspective is added to the populist conceptualizations. The leaders' self-representation as messianic fathers of the national family is evidenced by investigating their discursive appeals to protect, discipline and punish the people. Furthermore, I elaborate how conceptual metaphors may be employed to consolidate a position of uncontested leadership and moral superiority of the radical right populist leaders.


  • Gender Studies
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Conceptual metaphor
  • Masculinities
  • Radical right populism
  • Romania
  • Strict father


  • ISSN: 0090-5992
Cristian Norocel
E-mail: cristian [dot] norocel [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

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