Discourse and Practice of Violence in the Italian Extreme Right: Frames, Symbols, and Identity-Building in CasaPound Italia
AbstractAn investigation of the neo-Fascist organization CasaPound Italia, focusing on how political violence is framed in its public discourse, and on the role it plays as a constitutive element of the group’s collective identity. Starting from the conceptualization of violence in Italian Fascism, we focus on CasaPound’s practices, discourse, and ideology. The analysis combines findings from nineteen in-depth interviews with CasaPound members and participant observation at protest events and activities. This paper disentangles CasaPound’s relationship with political violence, differentiating its discursive, aesthetic, and identity-building dimensions. Although in the external discourse of the group, violent activities are only accepted as a tool of self-determination and self-defence, we find that a cult of violence inspired by traditional Fascism emerges from the semiotic repertoire mobilized by CasaPound, and is reiterated by means of experiences of collective socialization based on violence.
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