An anatomy of the war on woke

Huw C Davies, Sheena E. MacRae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The British war on woke is an intensive ideological campaign against social justice movements that is mobilising far-Right tropes and conspiracy theories within mainstream British political discourse. It sees itself in a battle of good versus evil, reason against the dark forces of pre-modernity, ‘Cultural Marxists’ and a ‘globalist elite’ intent on ruining ‘western civilisation’ and replacing ‘white’ British culture with woke multiculturalism. The authors examine this campaign’s discourses on various digital media including magazines, blogs, news sites and Twitter, and used search engines and a media database to capture a network graph of a community waging its war on woke. Using the graph metric of ‘betweenness centrality’, they isolate and visualise a small densely inter-connected homophily of political actors who share media platforms and cooperate within think tanks, campaign groups, and ‘educational charities’. Using van Dijk’s concept of the ideological square, they explore the conceptual logics driving this campaign to its extreme positions, often justified on the basis of representing the interests of the British white working class.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRace and Class
Early online date15 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • climate change
  • conspiracy theories
  • white working class
  • far right
  • woke
  • racism & nationalism


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