Discursive Constructions of the Enemy through Metonymy

The Case of CitizenGo’s Anti-Genderist E-Petitions

  • Stamatina Katsiveli Queen Mary University of London
  • Elvis Coimbra-Gomes Queen Mary University of London
Keywords: anti-genderism, CitizenGo, metonymy, corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, global right


Many studies have mentioned the significance of the online petition platform CitizenGo.org in mobilizing a transnational network of right-wing extremist groups and disseminating their ‘anti-genderist’ agenda. However, the specific discursive practices employed in the online petitions remain underexamined. In the current study, we bridge this gap by combining corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis. Following a corpus- driven approach through Sketch Engine, key-multiwords related to gender/sexuality were analyzed in terms of metonymy. The analysis revealed three different metonymic variants (i.e., PART FOR WHOLE, WHOLE FOR PART, and PART FOR PART), which are strategically employed in the construction of a depersonalized gendered/sexual Other, and the repurposing of progressive vocabulary for regressive ends. We argue that metonymy provides a semantic flexibility to the anti-genderist propaganda, and as such, it merits serious scholarly attention.