“Liever Dood dan Monddood”: An Anthropological Perspective on the Belongingness of Ongehoorde Nederlanders
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During three months of fieldwork, I conducted ethnographic research on Ongehoorde Nederlanders, meaning Unheard Dutchmen. As the name reveals, participants share feelings of unheardness: they feel excluded, disregarded, and ridiculed by the mainstream, not only in politics and the media but also in their social lives. Scattered senses of belonging create a divide in society. Missing belongings are found somewhere else: Participants experience a renewed sense of home with like-minded people. Isolation combined with contemporary issues such as a general lack of meaning in lives and overall free floating fear and frustration created perfect circumstances for mass formation, an enormously radicalizing phenomenon that comprises how specific group formation influences people’s capacity to think critically and causes them to lose their individuality (Desmet 2022). In sum, the goal of this thesis is to critically examine and analyze the ways in which the (non-)belongingness of Ongehoorde Nederlanders nourishes their right-wing mass formation. To do this, this thesis is structured as follows: First, I elaborate who Ongehoorde Nederlanders are. Second, I elaborate on the sense of (non-)belonging of Ongehoorde Nederlanders. Third, I will describe how this non-belonging ensures they rise as a mass. Lastly, I conclude by advising to start including Ongehoorde Nederlanders through patient conversations.