‘Post-race’ racism in the narratives of ‘Brexit’ voters

Patel, TG ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2578-3393 and Connelly, LJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9564-9106 2019, '‘Post-race’ racism in the narratives of ‘Brexit’ voters' , The Sociological Review, 67 (5) , pp. 968-984.

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Although a growing body of scholarship seeks to understand the motivations behind the ‘Brexit’ vote – including that which centralises explorations of racism, nationalism and post-colonialism – little consideration has been given to the ways in which ‘post-race’ racisms underpin the narratives of Leave voters. This article draws on data generated through 13 semi-structured interviews to examine the subtle and subterranean ways in which xeno-racism is articulated in the accounts of some Leave voters in the Greater Manchester city of Salford: a city that saw a higher percentage of the electorate (56.8%) vote to leave the EU than the national average (51.9%). Whilst restricting immigration was a key motivator of Leave voters in our research, interviewees vehemently rejected accusations of racism. Instead, couching their views in seemingly non-racial ways, they framed their concerns about immigration as a ‘legitimate’ response to a victimised whiteness. Thus, in discussing our data, we argue that far from living in a ‘post-racial’ epoch, racisms continue to thrive through new modes of articulation. These new racisms emerge from the shadows at key times, such as the EU Referendum, and refashion themselves in ways that are considered more palatable than the older (explicit) racisms of past.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: The Sociological Review
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0038-0261
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Tina G. Patel
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 13:49
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 00:54
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/50206

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