In Brexit, Facebook, and Transnational Right-Wing Populism, Natalie-Anne Hall takes Brexit as a case study for examining the critical consequences of the diffusion of transnational right-wing populist politics on social media. Through multi-method, qualitative research with avidly engaged pro-Brexit Facebook users in the tumultuous post-referendum period, Hall explores the effects of this participation on the on- and offline experiences of these individuals and on their interpretation of events surrounding Brexit. The book examines the socio-political and technological opportunities for this engagement with right-wing populist politics and the consequences of this engagement for transnational White victimhood and what Hall coins “Right victimhood.” Hall demonstrates how the “mainstream” political issue of Brexit acted as a catalyst for engagement with more extreme forms of right-wing politics via Facebook.
Natalie-Anne Hall is postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Communication and Media, Loughborough University, UK.
List of Figures
Introduction: Facebook, the EU Referendum, and Its Populist Aftermath
Section I: Experiences
Chapter 1: Becoming Engaged in Brexit and Right-Wing Populist Politics on Facebook
Chapter 2: Meaningful Online Engagement Practices in the Pro-Brexit Facebook Milieu
Section II: Ideology
Chapter 3: The Pro-Brexit Facebook Metanarrative
Chapter 4: Racisms and White Victimhood in Pro-Brexit Engagement on Facebook
Chapter 5: Anti-Leftism and Right Victimhood in Pro-Brexit Engagement on Facebook
Section III: Knowledge
Chapter 6: Brexit, Facebook, and Epistemic Battlegrounds
Conclusion: Taking Back Control?
About the Author
"Natalie-Anne Hall provides a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of the nature and construction of the reactionary moral panics which have fuelled the Brexit campaign. In what is a crowded field, this engaging and lucid analysis of Facebook users offers original and significant insights not only on the reasons behind the Brexit vote and the current political situation in the UK but also on understanding the mainstreaming of far right politics."
"In her timely and important book, Hall provides much needed sociological insight into the role of Facebook in the reproduction of far-right racist ideologies in the everyday in the wake of Brexit. Hall has pioneered a new approach to social media that combines interviews and immersive observations to illustrate how Brexit provided the impetus for individual White Britons that supported Leave to avidly engage with right-wing politics. While users think that they are sharing and finding ‘factual’ information enabling them to ‘take back control’ by combating ‘woke-ism’, Hall argues that it is Facebook’s algorithms that are in control. Not only should academics and students concerned with racism, Brexit, politics, democracy, and social media read this book, but so also should politicians and those who work in and profit from social media."
“Natalie-Anne Hall demonstrates that Brexit was not a simple event limited to one country, but points instead to a much larger political and cultural recomposition, shaped by two key processes—new expressions of political agency associated with social media and the emergence of transnational right-wing populism. This is a passionate exploration of the birth of a new paradigm of politics and society, centred on social media, affective experience, and the status of ‘truth’. Hall above all captures the fluidity, uncertainty, and intensities associated with the experience of digitalization of political mobilization today. Above all, Natalie-Anne Hall offers us tools to understand what is happening, and in the process, tools for action.”