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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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Global Symbols, Local Bans

Global Symbols, Local Bans

Transnational Nationalist Symbols

(p.131) 5 Global Symbols, Local Bans
The Extreme Gone Mainstream

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes symbols borrowed from non-German movements and global or pan-Aryan extremists. Here, the chapter also includes the appropriation of nonextremist products that have been assigned new meaning as well as symbols and codes that are in languages other than German. The chapter highlights the multivocality of far right symbols that are simultaneously nationalist and global. It suggests that this multivocality is further amplified by the ironies of far right youth deployment of non-German symbols, while simultaneously adhering to anti-immigrant sentiments or enacting violence against ethnic and racial minorities in the name of the German nation. The chapter draws both on an analysis of images and of young people's interpretation of “global” symbols deployed in the commercialized products to argue that far right ideologies have broadened, in the global era, beyond (mere) national borders. It suggests that there are parallels for how other geographically dispersed extremist ideologies—from Islamist extremism to ecoterrorism—might mobilize followers across national and linguistic boundaries. The chapter also analyzes legal disputes about the bans and examine youth reactions to school bans of particular symbols and codes as well as teachers' discussions of the enforcement of those bans. Ultimately, it argues that banning policies tend to backfire, further contributing to the game-playing aspect of code modification that make the symbols appealing in the first place.

Keywords:   transnational nationalist symbols, non-German movements, non-German symbols, global symbols, commercialized products, legal disputes, bans, banning policies

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