Livio Calabresi

Social Media Post-racism: the Capitalization of Freedom

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Post-racism, political communication, social media studies, human rights, storytelling

The paper tries to highlight a distinctive narrative trend which can be detected in political communication strategies of Italian rightwing leaders and parties: a peculiar declination of the traditional rightwing storytelling which opposes native citizens and migrants. The paper identifies and classifies as post-racism a peculiar rhetorical trend that redefines rights as a limited resource, regulated by a strict state monopoly. Post-racism attempts to redefine freedoms in the sociopolitical debate: they cease to represent inalienable and immaterial qualities, and they are treated like goods to be administered and distributed, according to socioeconomic – and ideological – policies that can assume both inclusive and protectionist connotations. Within this framework, identity and policies are renegotiated and reformulated through a purely economic-quantitative paradigm. The result is a form of ideological capitalization of freedoms. This trend implies much more than a propagandistic strategy: while it underrates the moral and humanitarian implications of migration crisis, it provides a narrative frame for new subtle forms of discrimination and xenophobia. Post-racism reveals the utmost risk of rethinking human rights as assets and resources; resources whose exclusive exploitation can be guaranteed only to a limited number of shareholders. An alarming symptom of a progressive and increasingly evident redefinition of life standards by quantitative-numerical parameters

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