Whiteness, Populism and the racialisation of the working-class in the United Kingdom and the United States

Aurelien Mondon, Aaron Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-528
Number of pages19
JournalIdentities > Global Studies in Culture and Power
Volume26
Issue number5
Early online date6 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Racism
  • Populism
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • working class
  • populism
  • Brexit
  • whiteness
  • Trump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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