CULTURES POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN UKIP (U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY) AN ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF ENGLISH NATIONALISM IN A TOWN IN HAVERING, EAST LONDON
My doctoral research explores right-wing politics and English nationalism in Romford, East London, England and notions of what it means to be English in a post-Brexit U.K society. By arguing that the current cultures of political participation are providing a breeding ground for the rise of English Nationalism in England, I investigate the rise of the political far-right in the U.K (Grierson, 2019), and I particularly focus on the right’s expansion post-Brexit and post-pandemic. I will research voters for the political party, The UK Independence Party (UKIP). This is because far-right supporters use UKIP as an electoral outlet and is considered representative of the most socially accepted form of the radical right (Ford, 2012). More specifically, my research will be done from below –supporters themselves through the lens of gender, utilising Foucault’s discourse on sexuality (Foucault, 1976). Thorleifsson’s (2019) study of populist nationalism discusses Farage’s reframing of “existing imaginaries” of the “hypermasculinity” of “dark-skinned foreign men that threatened white women” (p.193) which jeopardized the purity of women and of the nation. Thus, the far-right are exploiting gender imaginaries to turn fears into votes, and I will be engaging with these voters. Furthermore, it is useful to explore supporters’ perspectives as anthropologists “want to see changes in livelihoods and in class-like mechanisms that structure livelihoods and territories” and “how these experiences become publicly signified in the context of the rise of the Right and contentious politics.” (Kalb in Bangstad et al., 2019, p.105).