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Social Psychology of Brexit

This project began when a group of CuSP researchers (Eleni Andreouli, David Kaposi, Paul Stenner & Stephanie Taylor) received British Psychological Society (BPS) funding for a seminar series on the social psychology of Brexit. Eleni Andreouli, David Kaposi and Paul Stenner then went on to edit a Special Issue of the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology on this topic. Their own paper in this Special Issue was based on focus group data in which ordinary people from different backgrounds and circumstances discussed the referendum that would lead to Brexit. Since then, Eleni Andreouli, Rose Capdevila and Paul Stenner have collected further data on what they call the different ‘worlds of sensemaking’ through which ordinary people think and talk about Brexit.  In this project we approach both Brexit and a social psychology of Brexit as emergent forms. For example, we explore the extent to which the political status quo – including the ideal of a rational citizen motivated by self-interest, and oriented by the polarity between right and left - has been disrupted by Brexit. We combine analyses of everyday political understandings with theoretical and methodological suggestions about how a future social psychology might better engage with such questions of emergence, and with a focus on contemporary ‘affective politics’.

Relevant publications include: