Devils from our past: liberal Islamophobia in Austria as historicist racism

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This paper examines discourses of liberal Islamophobia in Austria, analysing interviews with journalists from national newspapers, magazines and TV station. Using a theoretical framework that combines a Gramscian analysis with methods of discourse analysis, it identifies “temporalization” as an effective discursive mechanism in the construction of the Muslim “Other” as a “folk devil”. It argues that liberal Islamophobia works as a historicist racism, which allows differently positioned subjects to invest into, and reproduce, a mythical space of representation where the Muslim “Other” figures as a “devil from our past”, embodying everything Austrian society has supposedly done away with in the years of political reform after 1968.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 10.12.2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften: [DOC-Stipendium] and by the Open Access Publishing Fund of the University of Vienna.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Austria, hegemony, historicist racism, Islamophobia, liberalism, Muslims, Stuart Hall
  • Sociology