Conclusion: Making Sense of It All
This chapter closes the book by attempting to address two paradoxes. The first is why discourses of national identity and exclusivity are more prevalent today than previously, despite the fact that, as shown in Chapter 4, on average people have become more tolerant (or GAL) on a large number of social issues, including immigration. The second paradox is why resistance to globalisation in both Britain and in other parts of Northern Europe has taken the form of a defence of (typically national) cultural identity, rather than a rebellion against economic globalisation, despite the fact that the latest wave of globalisation has been accompanied by growing economic inequalities. The clue to solving these paradoxes, I argue, lies in exploring changing patterns of political communication, especially the way opinion formers and media perform a kind of gatekeeping function that determines which issues become salient.
KeywordsIssue salience Political communication Agenda setting Hegemonic order
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