We're better than being a star on somebody else's flag - Discourse analysis of Nigel Farage's rhetoric during the Brexit referendum campaign
MetadataShow full item record
The outcome of the Brexit referendum sent shockwaves through Britain and through Europe. Despite the presence of long-standing and widespread Euroscepticism in Britain, few predicted that the majority of British people would vote in favour of leave. Brexit advocates had a message that resonated with the public and they were also very effective in delivering that message. This shows that rhetoric, how the message was presented, was an important part of it. That is why trying to understand the rhetoric of Nigel Farage, one of the main players of the Brexit referendum campaign, is of great interest. Through discourse analysis and Cap’s (2017) framework for analysing discourse consisting of the four rhetorical elements coercion, legitimization, delegitimization and proximization, this thesis investigates what rhetorical manoeuvres Nigel Farage made use of and discusses why they were employed. Further, this thesis investigates which emotions Farage aimed to appeal to and why. This will broaden the understanding of Farage’s rhetoric during the Brexit referendum campaign and detect the implicit meanings of his discourse. The analysis reveals that Farage was especially effective in his use of coercion by not including a lot of specific information in his arguments and by constantly shifting topics to democracy and sovereignty. Moreover, the analysis reveals that appeals to enthusiasm were an important part of Farage’s rhetoric and something he used strategically to get people to vote leave.