“[I]n order to better understand the phenomenon of ‘covertly communicated’ hate speech, one would need to first investigate the overarching thematic and discursive patterns in which hate speech is rooted. This study is a step in this direction. Assisted by a corpus-informed pragmatic analysis of hate language on Instagram, it focuses on hate language directed at Afghan immigrants in Iran, a rarely explored context involving one of the world’s most widespread population movements and displacement patterns. The findings of the study lay bare the fact that, in the corpus under investigation, overt expressions of hate were few and far between, to the extent that they did not have meaningful salience in the data. In this respect, the study indicates how a number of recurring discursive patterns provide the foundation on which covert ways of expressing hate are based.”

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