The politics of feeling in Brexit Britain: stories from the Mass Observation Project

Moss, Jonathan, Robinson, Emily and Watts, Jake The politics of feeling in Brexit Britain: stories from the Mass Observation Project. Manchester University Press, Manchester.

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During the Brexit debates, questions about the nation’s political future were continually framed in terms of feelings. The referendum was seen as a conflict between reason and resentment, fear and hope, heads and hearts. The eventual Leave vote was widely interpreted (both by its supporters and detractors) as the triumph of passion over rationality. Its aftermath was marked by intense concern about the feelings generated on both sides, and their consequences for British political culture. The capacity of this question to tear through personal relations and to provoke emotional encounters between strangers became as much a part of the debate on Brexit as the political and economic issues it raised.

These stories about feelings had political consequences. They shaped the way people experienced their own feelings and those of others. In this book, we listen to the stories of ‘ordinary’ people writing about their experiences of Brexit for the Mass Observation Project. We look at how they used public narratives about the role of feelings in political life to make sense of the referendum and its aftermath. But we also show how they resisted and re-made these stories as they interpreted their own feelings, and the feelings they encountered (and imagined) in other people.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Brexit, Feelings, everyday politics, Mass Observation, Emotions, moods, relationships, gut feeling, polarisation, British politics
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2023 10:09
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 10:09

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