Subtle discriminatory political discourse on immigration

Gema Rubio-Carbonero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Overt constructions of discrimination in political discourse towards immigrants are easy to detect and have been traditionally associated with far-right parties. However, mainstream political discourse on immigration delivered by so-called center or center-left parties has transformed into more subtle forms of discursive discrimination, which might not be obvious and need a closer analysis in order to be spotted in discourse. Overt discriminatory discourse has been studied by disciplines, such as political sociology, social psychology and Critical Discourse Studies, but subtle discriminatory constructions have been rather neglected. By combining these three disciplines, we propose here a multidisciplinary and multitheorical framework to systematically analyze subtle discriminatory political discourse on immigration. It aims at contributing to the development of a methodology for a socio-political analysis that allows to detect subtle discriminatory political discourse on immigration. Such framework is composed by four strategies with different degrees of subtleness: highlighting, diminishing, homogenizing and normalizing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)894-915
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


  • Immigration
  • Normalization
  • Political discourse
  • Subtle discrimination


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