Quotation Kopf, Susanne. 2021. “Just look at the mess. And they haven’t even left” – (EU) Citizens debating Brexit. Discourse & Politics Seminar Series 2021, online, Großbritannien, 11 January 2021.


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Abstract

This paper addresses how a group of predominantly EU citizens discussed Brexit, the UK and its relationship with the EU between 2016 and 2020. These discussions took place on Debating Europe (Debating Europe 2019), an online platform that invites EU citizens to debate topics relating to the EU and thereby, aims to strengthen the EU-wide public sphere (Rivett, personal communication, June 11, 2019). Thus, while so far research on Brexit has focused on the UK or on various national contexts (Buckledee 2018; Krzyżanowski 2019; Koller et al. 2019), this paper complements existing studies by presenting a transnational but still EU-focused perspective on Brexit. Against the backdrop of past discourse analytical research on the UK-EU relationship and considerations regarding the EU/European public sphere, I home in on threaded online discussions posted between the 2016 referendum and ‘Brexit day’ in January 2020. Using NVivo’s case classification, I excluded postings that identify the poster as a UK national. The resulting data set consists predominantly of postings by EU citizens and was then examined with a focus on various linguistic and discursive parameters, such as referential and predication strategies and intertextual references used to construct and represent Brexit, the EU and the UK in certain ways. Findings indicate that the EU citizens who participated in the online discussions view Brexit as particularly disadvantageous for the UK. While Brexit is also depicted as negative for the EU in some postings, there are also comments that suggest that the UK has never been an integral part of the EU and that Brexit might not be problematic for the EU at all. What is more, some postings even seem to welcome Brexit and depict the UK’s leaving the EU as potentially advantageous – as an act of liberation – for the EU.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title “Just look at the mess. And they haven’t even left” – (EU) Citizens debating Brexit
Event Discourse & Politics Seminar Series 2021
Year 2021
Date 11 January 2021
Country United Kingdom
Location online

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People
Kopf, Susanne (Details)
Organization
Institute for English Business Communication (Mautner) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6903 Humanities (interdisciplinary) (Details)
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