Nothing is as it Seems: ‘Discourse Capture’and Backlash Politics
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In this article, in response to several calls for new theoretical andanalytical tools to help us understand the nature of contemporaryanti-feminist and anti-queer politics, I introduce the concept of‘discourse capture’. I argue that discourse capture is a key backlashmechanism, characterised by its intention, scale, and undercovernature. Discourse capture occurs where progressive discourse is co-opted and manipulated to serve right-wing agendas. I outline fourforms of discourse capture in practice–resignifying, shifting,mimicking, and twisting. Finally, in the context of existing feministcounter backlash strategies, I explore what a counter discoursecapture strategy might comprise.