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Capturing the Mood of Democracy

The British General Election 2019

Authors: Coleman, Stephen, Brogden, Jim

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  • Provides a lyrical ethnographic account of how people living in a single British city experienced the 2019 general election
  • Raises important questions about the relationship between constitutional rights and subjective agency
  • Considers how the 2019 general election connected and disconnected people to and from Europe, the United Kingdom, and national and cultural identities
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eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53138-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book is about what it means to speak of a political mood. Can the electorate be in a mood? How do they express it? How can moods be captured in a meaningful way? This book attempts to answer those questions by looking at one city during the December 2019 British general election. This is not a book about campaign strategies, target voters, turnouts and poll swings. It is about how people feel. The research approach is ethnographic. The telling of the story is lyrical. It may not be hard political science but it contributes significantly to an understanding of the health of contemporary democracy. Focusing upon the ways that voters and non-voters perform their enthusiasm or indifference, the stories that they tell, and photographic images of Bradford in what is supposed to be a vital democratic moment, this book invites readers to engage with the affective texture of an election. 

About the authors

Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication in the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of How People Talk About Politics – Brexit and After (2020).

Jim Brogden is Lecturer in Visual Culture, and Programme Leader of the MA in Film, Photography, and Media in the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of Photography and the Non-Place: The Cultural Erasure of the City (2019).


Reviews

“‘Capturing the Mood of Democracy’ recounts the compassionate journey of two ‘local’ scholars in a post-industrial city at election time, resulting in a nuanced and empirically rich account of what an election does, or does not, with a city and its diverse population. While situated in a particular place and time, this study also offers a profound meditation on the state of democracy as experienced and enacted in the everyday. Moreover, this study constitutes a stellar example of a lyrical multimodal ethnography, integrating brilliantly phrased observations and reflections with equally important expressive photography.” (Luc Pauwels, Professor of Visual Social Science, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

“If political science faces a single fundamental dilemma then it has to be how to assess and understand the changing mood of democracy. Capturing the texture and tone of an often angry and apathetic emotional landscape demands innovative methodologies which confront and lay bare the everyday realities of political life.  Stephen Coleman and Jim Brogden's powerful photography and delicate commentary underline the power of visual ethnography to capture the social context in which political events occur. This book is as much a challenge to political science to expand and enrich its methodological horizons as it is to those who seek to understand the contemporary democratic mood.  In seeking to capture the democratic mood this is a very 'BIG' and hugely impressive little book.” (Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, UK, and Vice-President, Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom)

“Rarely does one come across scholarly works on politics that combine multi-methods and theory as well as Stephen Coleman and Jim Brogden do in Capturing the Mood of Democracy: The British General Election 2019. I highly recommend it for intelligent readers at any level who want a deeper understanding of how moods of various voting publics are created and impact on important political decisions. As a Visual Sociologist, I was especially impressed with how deftly images are knitted into both the thick description and, more importantly, the analysis of these critical elections in Bradford, a city described by the authors as a “microcosm of British history.” In this way, the authors allow the reader to not only hear about the moods of voters but to see them as well.” (Jerome Krase, Murray Koppelman Professor, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, USA)

“Coleman and Brogden’s Capturing the Mood of Democracy explores modern British democracy via an exceedingly creative and even beguiling multi-dimensioned ethnography of the 2019 general election. Their book is ironic, nuanced, subtle and penetrating. It reads alternatively like a novel by Ali Smith and a full out exploration of modern Britain. Their book tells us what the current moment is like in England as it demonstrates how ethnography can get at the essence of an historical era, a place and a national social drama. Photographs by Brogden visualize the mood of contradiction, disappointment and possibility that this historical moment offers. The book’s magic lies in its ability to see and communicate at the oblique angle of a glance, a fleeting expression and a surprising insight, informed by the best of modern ethnographic thinking.” (Doug Harper, Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University, USA, and President of the International Visual Sociological Association)


Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53138-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Capturing the Mood of Democracy
Book Subtitle
The British General Election 2019
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53138-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53138-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53137-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 129
Number of Illustrations
30 illustrations in colour
Topics