From Houses and Grandparents to Brexit: Connections Between Memory, Objects and Right-Wing Populism
This chapter considers the perspectives and actions of some Brexit supporters. The data presented here is part of a long-term ethnographic research among financially stable retired residents of Margate, South East England, and nearby areas. Here, right-wing populism relates to a national perspective that ordinary people continuously reproduce in their trips to the local charity shop, around town, at their homes and in politics. Within this context, support for Brexit produces a sense of belonging that directly relates to the area’s material history. Support also works as a protest against those who insist to ignore the British past, which is directly connected to peoples’ memories and relatives. Among my informants, Brexit is much less extremist than outsiders might imagine. An ethnographic approach to voters helps to disentangle the multiple voices that got aggregated under the populist empty signifiers, deconstructing its simplistic logic and hopefully enlightening potential fields for negotiation.
KeywordsPopulism Brexit Nationalism United Kingdom Belonging Memory Objects
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