Mind the Gap! On the Discursive Construction of Collective Political Identities

By: Sebastian Moreno Barreneche


Volume: 06
Issue: 02:2020
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2020.0019
Pages: 11-27
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
political identities
collective identities
political discourse
social semiotics



This article explores, from a theoretical perspective, the dynamics underlying the discursive construction of collective identities within the political domain. Specifically, it: (1) presents a general mapping of political sphere studies carried out from a semiotic perspective; (2) attempts to bridge different paradigms within the semiotic tradition; and (3) establishes a dialogue between political theory and semiotics through the analysis of certain ideas belonging to the former whose semiotic nature has not yet been adequately examined, even if they are of a discursive nature. The article pays particular attention to the role that the ‘political gap’ – i.e., the space of indetermination between the various collective political identities that compete against each other in the ‘contest over meaning’ of politics – plays in the discursive construction of those identities. Arguing from a constructivist premise, establishing relational differences is a constitutive feature of the meaning-making, dynamic, and gaps between collective identities, a necessary precondition for their discursive emergence and the political sphere’s existence.


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