Projects per year
One of the foremost challenges for ethnographic researchers working on the ‘far right’, the ‘extreme right’, ‘white nationalist’ groups, or organised ‘anti-minority activism’, is working out how to balance the ‘scholarly ethics of fairness to the subject with [the author’s own] moral and political interests in exposing and helping to disable the very movements they are studying’ (Blee 2007, 125). In this chapter I discuss how I sought to negotiate these issues during an ethnographic study of activism in the English Defence League (EDL), at the time the UK’s foremost vehicle for organised anti-minority activism. In particular, I discuss how I sought to do this by developing and deploying what I came to think of as a ‘non-dehumanisation principle’. According to this principle, I would attempt to treat EDL activists in the same way as I would activists in a movement who’s aims I broadly endorsed, so long as this did not entail becoming complicit in what I considered the most fundamentally problematic aspect of their movement: their dehumanisation of various Others – primarily, but not limited to, Muslims. Having introduced the principle, I discuss how it shaped my practice across three phases of the research: project design, fieldwork, and writing up.
|Title of host publication||Researching the Far Right|
|Subtitle of host publication||Theory, Method and Practice|
|Editors||Stephen Ashe, Joel Busher, Graham Macklin, Aaron Winter|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138219342, 9781138219335|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Nov 2020|