Sophie Lively: “Narrating Masculinities: Racism, Nationalism and Belonging amongst Working Class Men in Tyneside”

In Students by General Account

Right-wing ideology and nationalism have gained traction throughout Europe in recent years (Lifland, 2013; Antonsich, 2020). Amidst multi-disciplinary analysis of this growing phenomenon, is an emerging body of research highlighting the distinctly masculine tendencies of such ideologies (Kimmel, 2018; Ralph-Morrow, 2022). The proposed research seeks to add to this scholarship by working at the intersections of local identities, race and masculinities.  It aims to explore how everyday nationalism is embedded within broader structures of patriarchy (hooks, 2013) and comes to shape and produce forms of masculinity.   This study will draw upon biographical methods, conducting 40 interviews with male participants in Tyneside – a predominantly white post-industrial area with a paucity of research on race (Nayak, 2003). A gendered analysis will assist in examining ways in which once normalised notions of masculinity can be validated in right-wing ideology. The research avoids the assumption that ‘left behind’ places and the men within them are somehow inherently drawn to right-wing thinking. Instead, it will explore how such widespread far-right narratives figure in the biographies of men themselves, connect to their lived experiences and produce particular versions of masculinity that are embodied and enacted in place.  The research will advance current geographic scholarship, by producing new understandings of the relationship between masculinities, race and everyday nationalism in post-industrial towns. Furthermore, the findings will have direct benefit for both regional and national organisations when it comes understanding and combating hate speech.