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Morality of Discontent: The Constitution of Political Establishment in the Swedish Rural Press


Sociologia Ruralis

Published online on


--- - |2 Abstract Swedish media regularly indicate that people's confidence in politicians is low. This distrust in or discontent with politicians is often related to rural politics. This paper focuses on the populist tendencies in the representations of politicians in the Swedish rural press during the parliamentary election year of 2014. A discourse analysis of the press material illustrates three closely related and critical themes; politicians are regarded as being urban centred, as doing anything for power, and as acting in an autocratic manner and misusing their power. The discourse analysis also reveals how the critical press material is linked to a moral geography relating space to a specific moral order. Drawing on theories on rural populism, the article shows how the media's references to a rural‐based victimhood, and to an alleged inequality between urbanity and rurality, can morally legitimate and bluntly express their contempt for ‘scandalous’ politicians, and they can present their critique as rational and justified. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '