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105 Part Two: Contemporary political (dis)engagements

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The changing nature of the ‘political’
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In what ways is the meaning and practice of politics changing? Why might so many people feel dissatisfied and disaffected with electoral politics? What approaches do political activists use to raise issues and mobilise people for action? What role does the internet and social media play in contemporary citizenship and activism? This book brings together academics from a range of disciplines with political activists and campaigners to explore the meaning of politics and citizenship in contemporary society and the current forms of political (dis)engagement. It provides a rare dialogue between analysts and activists which will be especially valuable to academics and students across the social sciences, in particular sociology and political science.

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may play an increasingly important role in citizens’ (dis)engagement with electoral politics. The displacement of class means that as people rely less on habitual behaviour or social structure to guide action emotional reflexivity (Holmes, 2010) becomes more important in deliberating and negotiating politics. The emotional 108 Political (dis)engagement turn in politics emerges out of the infectious egalitarianism of mass democracy and manifests itself in an expectation that politicians should present themselves as connected to ‘ordinary people’ and everyday

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, the complex implications of global capitalism, patterns of migration and the multifarious ways in which social identity is embroiled in political (dis)engagement. Viewing politics in this way is important, as it is part of crediting citizens with the agency to create new and revive older understandings and practices of politics amid changing social conditions. It also helps to draw our attention to the importance of politics as a process, rather than focusing exclusively on the outcomes of political engagement or forms of political behaviour – the way we

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This book aims to explore some of the rich textures of contemporary politics and the dynamism of its practice. Contributors to this volume have been chosen to reflect some of the key areas of political life – the changing nature of politics and its practice, questions of why we participate and what it means, and the way social identities relate to politics. Rather than being a work produced solely by academics, several chapters have been written by activists and campaigners engaged in politics in different ways, targeting different issues and drawing upon a broad palate of political practices. The academic contributions are also diverse, covering different forms of participation, different countries, different social groups and disciplinary perspectives. This book provides a rare, accessible and interdisciplinary discussion of contemporary politics.

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This book aims to explore some of the rich textures of contemporary politics and the dynamism of its practice. Contributors to this volume have been chosen to reflect some of the key areas of political life – the changing nature of politics and its practice, questions of why we participate and what it means, and the way social identities relate to politics. Rather than being a work produced solely by academics, several chapters have been written by activists and campaigners engaged in politics in different ways, targeting different issues and drawing upon a broad palate of political practices. The academic contributions are also diverse, covering different forms of participation, different countries, different social groups and disciplinary perspectives. This book provides a rare, accessible and interdisciplinary discussion of contemporary politics.

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a political being, a person whose everyday life and decisions held broader socio-political meaning and implications. Patrick’s ability to understand himself as acting politically through individualised, everyday activities reflects profound socio-political and cultural changes that have taken place over the last several decades. Firstly, the example of Patrick points to the way politics is now often understood as having a life beyond the institutions and practices of 2 Political (dis)engagement electoral politics. While political consumerism has a long

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discussion about some of the general concerns around declining participation in mainstream politics; this is followed by an examination of the more marked decline among certain demographics, in particular, young people and ethnic minorities. Next, British Muslim communities and the role of biraderi politics, especially the impact of biraderi on the political engagement of young British Muslims, are 152 Political (dis)engagement examined. The chapter draws on embedded ethnographic research, including informal interviews and participant observation with the Pakistani

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)happiness is assumed to relate to an evaluation of personal wellbeing domains rather than wider social concerns (Thin, 2012 ; Pavot and Diener, 2013 ). I situate this social dimension of happiness narratives in the context of political and sociological theories around democratic deficit and political disengagement in the UK (Norris and Inglehart, 2016 ; Curtice, 2018 ;). I also employ concepts of moral sentiment and lay normativity (Haidt, 2003 ; Sayer 2004 ; Smith, 2009 ) that view individuals as socially situated and sensitive to others’ wellbeing as well as their

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identities, centring on concerns about political disaffection, failed integration, a lack of social capital consonant with democratic participation, or violent political extremism. In this chapter I argue that the evidence base underpinning perceptions that participation in democratic life among ethnic minority and Muslim young people is lower than for other groups 176 Political (dis)engagement of young people is rather weak, while those studies that do exist do not necessarily sustain such generalised crisis narratives. Furthermore, public and academic discourses

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