US alt-right media and the creation of the counter-collective memory

Krzysztof Wasilewski

Abstract


The media play an important role in shaping the collective memory of their users. Popular movies, TV shows or commemorative newspaper texts influence the ways in which people remember and forget. Many scholars have attempted to describe this connection; however, little attention has so far been paid to alternative media. This article aims to analyse the features of the collective memory constructed by the media associated with the so-called alt-right (alternative right) movement in the United States. I argue that far-right media produce an ethnically exclusive collective memory, which consequently aims to counter the mainstream collective memory. The findings of this study come from the critical analysis of how the New York Times and Breitbart News engaged in a nationwide discussion on the Confederacy’s legacy that ensued in August 2017 after the decision to remove the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, VA and the mass protests that soon followed.


Keywords


Alternative media, alt-right, collective memory, Confederacy, far right, memory discourses, Robert E. Lee monument

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References


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