In this article, we seek to provide a social quality–led analysis of some of the conditions that led to the UK population’s collective decision to leave the European Union in June 2016. We draw on interview data collected between 2010 and 2012 to argue that while not predictable, the seeds of the Brexit vote are well rooted in the conditions experienced by many of the working classes in Britain’s most deprived postindustrial communities. We argue that the ongoing decline in economic security, effective enfranchisement, social inclusion, and social empowerment have all had profound consequences for working-class communities and that the outcome of the Brexit vote was rooted, at least in part, in their subjective experiences and disenchantment forged in this ongoing decline.
Ian Mahoney is a lecturer/senior lecturer in criminology at Nottingham Trent University. His research continues to build on his doctoral research, which focused on experiences of unemployment, crime, and marginalization in Stoke-on-Trent, and their impact on identity, belonging, and senses of masculinity. He has also been developing a critique of the effectiveness of research ethics in criminology and the challenges posed by current ethics models. Email: email@example.com
Tony Kearon is a senior lecturer in criminology at Keele University. He is also the codirector of the Keele Policing Academic Collaboration. His research focuses on policing, community safety, community resilience, early intervention, prevention and diversion relating to young offenders, public confidence in criminal justice, and political/democratic aspects of criminal justice policy formation. One of the themes that underpins all his research is the impact of deindustrialization, globalization, and related structural and existential changes in late modernity on the lives, attitudes, and identities of individuals and communities in transition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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