It depends on personal networks: Feelings of stigmatisation among populist radical right party members

Author (Person)
Publisher ,
Series Title
Publication Date 2023
Content Type ,


Stigmatisation has been recognised as a major factor influencing the fortunes of populist radical right (PRR) parties. While scholars have examined it by taking parties as units of analysis, this study focuses on the individual level by askingĀ Which PRR party members are more likely to feel stigmatised? After offering a novel theoretical explanation for feelings of stigmatisation based on the personal networks in which PRR grassroots members are embedded, it then investigates stigma using an original membership survey of about 7,000 members of the Sweden Democrats (SD) and interviews with 30 of them.

The survey results show that the higher the educational qualification PRR grassroots members have achieved, the more likely they will feel stigmatised. In addition, those who have never had any relatives and/or friends in the SD, and those who are employed in the public sector, are more likely to consider membership discrediting. The interview data shed light on the survey results, by illustrating how public employees and university students find it hard to be open about their membership as they are surrounded by people with left-wing views.

By contrast, having relatives and/or friends who are members of the party reduces the stigma of joining PRR parties, becoming active in them, and talking about politics in public. Along with countering some of the prevailing wisdom about stigmatisation in PRR parties, the findings contribute to our understanding of PRR grassroots membership, which has long been an overlooked topic in the literature.

Source Link
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 20/01/2023: Why personal networks are key to the stigma felt by members of populist radical right parties

Subject Categories
Subject Tags ,
Countries / Regions