Leavers and remainers as ‘kinds of people’ : accusations of racism amidst Brexit
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AbstractAfter the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, leavers and remainers have become identified in media, political, intellectual, social scientific and everyday discourses with a contested set of racialised and classed characteristics. Central to this portrayal of leavers and remainers is the idea widespread within remain-orientated discourse that leavers are more likely to hold racist attitudes on questions of multiculturalism and immigration compared to remainers. This article draws on fieldwork that examines the emotive accusation of racism articulated by leavers and remainers at each other, and expressed in everyday discourses and social interactions. We explore the ways in which racism becomes reduced within social interactions to an individual characteristic of leave or remain ‘kinds of people’. Our argument is that the individualisation of racism in this way inadvertently displaces and curtails critical reflection on the reproduction of white privilege in British society.
CitationTyler, K., Degnen, C. and Blamire, J. (2022) Leavers and remainers as ‘kinds of people’: accusations of racism amidst Brexit. Ethnos. DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2022.2155208
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2022.2155208
SponsorsThis work was supported by Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/R005133/1].
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/