Democracy and culture

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    What feminism, intersectionality, and place in political resistance can tell us about the American South

What feminism, intersectionality, and place in political resistance can tell us about the American South

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The political activism of southern women stands out in recent protests and women’s marches in the U.S. Although long stereotyped as passive adherents to Old South patriarchal norms, women historically have found ways to resist. Today, public resistance to racism, misogyny, and LGBTQ discrimination in the South, as well as the spread of confederate flags and other symbols of […]

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    Trump’s response to Charlottesville and the web of disbelief

Trump’s response to Charlottesville and the web of disbelief

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In the aftermath of the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville which caused the murder of Heather Hayes, Donald Trump has issued contradictory statements. Diana Popescu argues that on top of the moral harm done by not condemning white supremacy unequivocally, Trump’s reaction to the events engenders an epistemic harm of further radicalising his supporters, widening the gap between […]

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    New digital methods can be used to analyse linguistic terms and better understand Reddit communities

New digital methods can be used to analyse linguistic terms and better understand Reddit communities

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Reddit is now the fourth most visited website in the US. Yet, surprisingly, given its position as an extremely large community, it has been the subject of relatively little research. Tim Squirrell has developed methods of studying the genealogy, spread, and use of particular words on Reddit, as demonstrated by this case study of The_Donald, the largest pro-Trump community on the […]

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    Book Review: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Book Review: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

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In White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg traces the historical emergence and instantiation of ‘poor white trash’ as a chastised category within the US social fabric, as a further challenge to any continued assumptions about the supposedly classless nature of US society. While questioning whether the book fully steers clear of the elitism it otherwise aims to […]

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    Musicians are now more likely than ever to object to American presidential candidates’ use of their songs

Musicians are now more likely than ever to object to American presidential candidates’ use of their songs

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Music has been an integral part of US electoral campaigns for centuries. Since the 1960s, presidential candidates have increasingly used prerecorded songs on the campaign trail, and musicians have been objecting to politicians using their work ever since. Eric T. Kasper outlines the history of music in presidential campaigns, and notes that musicians are more likely than ever to […]

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    Donald Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts Jamboree: Why he says the same things to very different audiences

Donald Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts Jamboree: Why he says the same things to very different audiences

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Donald Trump’s speech to the Boy Scout jamboree has been criticised as wildly inappropriate. But to a populist, there might only be one audience – and it might not be the physical people right in front of you. Ben Margulies looks at how the logic of populism may explain Donald Trump’s tendency to return to the same themes in […]

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    Anger makes ethnocentrism among whites a stronger predictor of racial and immigration policy opinions

Anger makes ethnocentrism among whites a stronger predictor of racial and immigration policy opinions

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Politics has been filled with angry rhetoric. And politicians, such as Donald Trump, have used anger to their electoral benefit. But what are the political consequences of an angry political environment.  Research by Antoine Banks shows that anger (unrelated to racial and ethnic groups) causes ethnocentric whites to be more opposing of policies considered to benefit racial and ethnic […]

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    Book Review: Populism: A Very Short Introduction by Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

Book Review: Populism: A Very Short Introduction by Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

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With Populism: A Very Short Introduction, Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser offer a short but densely packed volume exploring this timely concept. Arguing that populism is a ‘thin-centred ideology’ that can be both beneficial and detrimental to democracy, this is a coherent, measured and accessible critique of populism offering a wealth of insight into how it is practised globally, finds Richard Berry. 

Populism: A Very Short […]

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    ‘Mine is a likable rogue, yours is a degenerate criminal.’ When it comes to ‘dirty campaign tricks’ partisans tend to ignore bad news about their own

‘Mine is a likable rogue, yours is a degenerate criminal.’ When it comes to ‘dirty campaign tricks’ partisans tend to ignore bad news about their own

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Pundits appear eager to portray the partisan battles waged during the 2016 U.S. presidential election as reaching new lows where dirty politics were concerned. Yet despite massive media interest in dirty politics and academic investigations into many aspects of this soft underbelly of democratic elections, very little is known about the way the public responds to news about dirty politics—whether […]

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    Celebrity endorsements affect voters’ feelings of anger and anxiety towards political candidates

Celebrity endorsements affect voters’ feelings of anger and anxiety towards political candidates

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In the 2016 election actors, musicians, and athletes publicly endorsed political candidates with the hopes that their celebrity could bring attention, and ultimately votes, to their preferred candidates. Research by Anthony J. Nownes shows us that many times this does work- survey respondents who were aware of Hillary Clinton’s celebrity endorsements had lower levels of anger and anxiety towards the […]

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