‘It's not racist. It's common sense’. A critical analysis of political discourse around asylum and immigration in the UK
Version of Record online: 5 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 1–16, January/February 2008
How to Cite
Capdevila, R. and Callaghan, J. E. M. (2008), ‘It's not racist. It's common sense’. A critical analysis of political discourse around asylum and immigration in the UK. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 18: 1–16. doi: 10.1002/casp.904
- Issue online: 19 DEC 2007
- Version of Record online: 5 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2006
- Michael Howard;
- Conservative Party
This paper looks at a political speech given by the leader of the opposition party during the run up to the UK elections in 2005. Using this speech as a starting point, we attempt to trace the path of ‘racism’ within a text that makes explicit claims to being ‘not racist’. Drawing on a number of theoretical and methodological resources, this paper approaches the analysis by focusing on a number of conceptually heterogeneous elements that, in relation with each other, function to produce, re-produce and stabilize ‘racism’. One of the difficulties commonly encountered in social psychological work, we would suggest, is that an explicit statement of allegiance to a particular methodological and theoretical tradition can also result in a restriction of theorization to a particular ‘level of analysis’. That is to say, a methodological process that constructs a pre-given category, presets the criteria by which ‘racism’ can be identified and fixes the ‘level of analysis’ at which it can be studied risks ignoring the multiple points of contact at which ‘racism’ can be made visible or made to disappear. The concern here it that such a process can work to reinscribe the very ‘racisms’ we aim to disrupt. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.