Doctoral thesis

News Coverage of Immigration and the Normalization of Far-Right Nativism

ContributorsVétois, Matthieu
Imprimatur date2024
Defense date2024

Far-right parties advocating nativist, anti-immigration ideologies are gaining momentum across Western liberal democracies, despite their stigmatization. What was once a fringe political force is moving towards the mainstream, as evidenced by the increasing presence and influence of far-right parties in parliaments and their ability to shape the public agenda on immigration. This shift suggests a significant transformation in the political landscape, where far-right narratives on immigration are becoming central to the discourse on national identity and immigration policy. In other words, it seems that the far-right's nativist ideology is becoming increasingly normalized, winning over public support and acceptance. The reasons behind this normalization, however, remain unclear. This thesis examines the role of the valence of immigration news on the normalization of nativism, the far-right's immigration ideology. While previous research has shown that immigration news with a negative valence is linked with higher support for the far-right and its nativist ideology, it remains unclear whether this relationship is due to the valence of immigration news normalizing this ideology. Furthermore, the socio-psychological mechanisms that underlie this normalization are unclear. In this thesis, I hypothesize that immigration news with a negative valence contributes to normalizing the far-right's nativist ideology through four key mechanisms: First, more negative immigration news relates with an increase of threat perceptions that justify and legitimize the expression of anti-immigrant prejudice. Second, negative immigration news facilitates a dissociation between nativist ideology and its far-right source, which encourages focusing on the ideology, reducing identity concerns associated with endorsing a stigmatized political identity. Third, a reduction of discomfort in openly expressing nativism, illustrating a decrease in the discrepancy between the self and non-discriminatory standards. Fourth, a shift in the perceptions of social norms regarding this ideology. Through three articles, this thesis provides empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that immigration news with a negative valence normalizes the far-right's nativist ideology via these four socio-psychological mechanisms, which, in turn, increase the overall support for this ideology. Together, these findings offer insights into why immigration news with a negative valence helps normalize far-right nativist ideology, thereby increasing support for this view.

  • Social psychology
  • Normalization
  • Immigration news
  • Far-right nativism
Citation (ISO format)
VÉTOIS, Matthieu. News Coverage of Immigration and the Normalization of Far-Right Nativism. 2024. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:177039
Main files (1)
accessLevelPrivateaccessLevelPublic 04/30/2029 CC BY-NC
Secondary files (1)

Technical informations

Creation05/10/2024 12:19:16 PM
First validation05/14/2024 1:00:32 PM
Update time05/14/2024 1:00:32 PM
Status update05/14/2024 1:00:32 PM
Last indexation05/14/2024 1:00:51 PM
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