New article: Whiteness, populism and the racialisation of the working class in the United Kingdom and the United States

To cite this article: Aurelien Mondon & Aaron Winter (2018): Whiteness, populism and the racialisation of the working class in the United Kingdom and the United States, Identities, DOI:10.1080/1070289X.2018.1552440

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2018.1552440

The pre-published text is available here

Abstract:

The election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote were widely hailed as examples of (white) working class revolts. This article examines the populist racialisation of the working class as white and ‘left behind’, and representative of the ‘people’ or ‘demos’, in the campaigns and commentaries. We argue that such constructions made race central, obscured the class make-up, allowed for the re-assertion of white identity as a legitimate political category and legitimised, mainstreamed and normalised racism and the far right. Moreover, it delegitimised Black, Minority Ethnic and immigrant experiences and interests, including working class ones. We show that the construction of the votes as (white) working class revolts, and representing the ‘people’ and/or ‘demos’, is based on a partial reading of electoral data, misrepresents the votes, stigmatises the working class, and supports an ideological purpose which maintains the racial, political and economic status quo.

Author: Aurelien Mondon

Aurelien Mondon currently works on various project related to liberal and illiberal articulations of racism and right-wing populism, and their impact on liberal democracies. His research interests include: Liberal and Illiberal Racisms and Islamophobias in elite discourse Right-wing populism and the people as a ‘threat’ to democracy The far right and its influence on mainstream politics (historical and contemporary) The relationship between voting, abstention and democracy

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