Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper combines corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis methodologies in order to investigate the discourses and cyber activism of the British right-wing nationalist party, Britain First. A study of a corpus of texts produced by elite members of the group reveals a racist, xenophobic stance which constructs Islam and Muslims as the radical, dangerous ‘Other’. This creates a discourse of fear that threatens the way of life of the indigenous in-group of the British people. An investigation of the cyber activity of the group demonstrates that Britain First is able to achieve a significant amount of following on social media by publishing populist material that veils their true nature or ideological stance.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Atton, Chris
    2006 “Far-right Media on the Internet: Culture, Discourse and Power.” New Media & Society8(4):573–587. doi: 10.1177/1461444806065653.
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444806065653 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, Paul
    2014Using Corpora to Analyze Gender. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baker, Paul , Costas Gabrielatos , Majid KhosraviNik , Michal Krzyżanowski , Tony McEnery , and Ruth Wodak
    2008 “A Useful Methodological Synergy? Combining Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics to Examine Discourses of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press.” Discourse & Society19(3): 273–306. doi: 10.1177/0957926508088962
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926508088962 [Google Scholar]
  4. Baker, Paul , Costas Gabrielatos and Tony McEnery
    2013Discourse Analysis and Media Attitudes. The Representation of Islam in the British Press. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511920103
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511920103 [Google Scholar]
  5. Baker, Paul , and Tony McEnery
    2015Corpora and Discourse Studies. Integrating Discourse and Corpora. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137431738
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137431738 [Google Scholar]
  6. Collins, Matthew
    2015 “The Truth about Britain First – The One-man Band with a Knack for Facebook.” InThe Guardian, Feb.25 2015.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Daniels, Jessie
    2009 “Cloaked Websites: Propaganda, Cyber-racism and Epistemology in the Digital Era.” New Media & Society11(5):659–683. doi: 10.1177/1461444809105345
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444809105345 [Google Scholar]
  8. Edwards, Geraint O.
    2012 “A Comparative Discourse Analysis of the Construction of ‘In-groups’ in the 2005 and 2010 Manifestos of the British National Party.” Discourse & Society23(3):245–258. doi: 10.1177/0957926511433477
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926511433477 [Google Scholar]
  9. Foxton, Willard
    2014 “The Loathsome Britain First Are Trying to Hijack the Poppy – Don’t Let Them.” InThe Telegraph, Nov.04 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Gallagher, Paul
    2015 “Far Right Extremist Group Britain First Threatens to Arrest Islamist cleric Anjem Choudary.” InThe Independent, May 28, 2013.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Gerbaudo, Paolo
    2012Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London: Pluto Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Goodwin, Matthew
    2013How Might Changes in Political Allegiances Affect Notions of Identity in the Next Ten Years?Government Office for Science. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275765/13-511-changes-in-political-allegiances-affect-identity.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gover, Dominic
    2014 “Who Are Britain First? The EDL-BNP Fusion that Hates Islam.” InInternational Business Times. Nov.20 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Hart, Christopher
    2014Discourse, Grammar and Ideology. London: Bloomsburg.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Juris, Jeffrey S.
    2012 “Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere: Social Media, Public Space and Emerging Logics of Aggregation.” American Ethnologist39(2): 259–279. doi: 10.1111/j.1548‑1425.2012.01362.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2012.01362.x [Google Scholar]
  16. Kassimeris, George , and Leonie Jackson
    2015 “The Ideology and Discourse of the English Defence League: ‘Not Racist, Not Violent, Just No Longer Silent’.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations17(1):171–188. blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/not-racist-not-violent-just-no-longer-silent-is-the-edl-racist/
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Kilgarriff, Adam , Pavel Rychly , Pavel Smrz , and David Tugwell
    2004 ‘The Sketch Engine.’ Proceedings of Euralex, Lorient, France; pp.105–116. https://www.sketchengine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/The_Sketch_Engine_2004.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Prentice, Sheryl , Paul Rayson , and Paul Taylor
    2012 “The Language of Islamic Extremism: Towards an Automated Identification of Beliefs, Motivations and Justifications.” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics17(2):259–286. doi: 10.1075/ijcl.17.2.05pre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.17.2.05pre [Google Scholar]
  19. Reisigl, Martin , and Ruth Wodak
    2009 “The Discourse Historical Approach (DHA).” InMethods in Critical Discourse Analysis, edited by Ruth Wodak , and Michael Meyer , 87–121. 2nd edn.London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Simpson, Patricia Anne , and Helga Druxes
    2015Digital Media Strategies of the Far-Right in Europe and the US. London & New York: Lexington Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Wodak, Ruth
    2015The Politics of Fear. What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean. London: Sage. doi: 10.4135/9781446270073
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446270073 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Britain First; corpus linguistics; cyber activism; discourse analysis; Islamophobia
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error