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The Extreme Gone MainstreamCommercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany$
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Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196152

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.001.0001

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Dying for a Cause, Causing Death

Dying for a Cause, Causing Death

The Threat of Violence

Chapter:
(p.107) 4 Dying for a Cause, Causing Death
Source:
The Extreme Gone Mainstream
Author(s):

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.003.0005

This chapter examines historical and contemporary far right wing symbols that directly depict, reference, or evoke death or dying through reference to historical myths and legends as well as contemporary acts of violence. It traces three ways in which the far right deploys symbols of death: abstract death, specific deaths and death threats, and reference to the death of a civilization or entire way of life. The chapter argues that the iconography of death helps evoke fear and produce anxiety among viewers, in part by breaching societal taboos that deem death unspeakable and by evoking death and violence in the name of the nation. By linking depictions of weapons that can cause death; illustrations or references to blood, war, physical fighting or confrontation; or violence to a particular vision of the nation, the chapter argues that such iconography makes coded or oblique references to contemporary immigration and diversity in ways that indirectly or directly threaten members of minority and nonwhite groups. Symbols of death are thus a performative strategy to demonstrate fearlessness and suggest violence as a means to achieve nationalist or extremist goals.

Keywords:   violence, death, dying, historical myths, abstract death, death threats, civilization, death iconography, symbols

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