Populism as Symbolic Class Struggle. Homology, Metaphor, and English Ale


Abstract


This contribution links the study of populism as a stylistic repertoire with Bourdieusian class analysis. The starting point is Ostiguy and Moffitt's observation that the populist repertoire draws on symbols of the 'sociocultural low' and 'the popular' produced in non-political fields like food and leisure. Borrowing from Lévi-Strauss and Bourdieu, the article proposes to view these elements as metaphors for positions in vertical and horizontal class relations. Metaphorical signification rests on homologies between the symbolic sphere ('culture') and politics grounded in the divisions of social space ('the class structure'). This perspective allows us to situate the populist repertoire in social structure and analyze its entanglement in struggles over the classification of groups, or symbolic class struggles.

Keywords: Populism; Class Analysis; Culture; Bourdieu; Lévi-Strauss; Structuralism; Homology

References


Acha, Omar. 2019. “From Marxist to Post-Marxist Populism: Ernesto Laclau’s Trajectory within the National Left and Beyond.” Historical Materialism 1:1–32.

Afonso, Alexandre. 2015. “Choosing Whom to Betray: Populist Right-Wing Parties, Wel-fare State Reforms and the Trade-off between Office and Votes.” European Po-litical Science Review 7(2):271–92.

Akkerman, Agnes, Cas Mudde, and Andrej Zaslove. 2013. “How Populist Are the People? Measuring Populist Attitudes in Voters.” Comparative Political Studies 47(9):1324–53.

Alexandre, Chloé, Frédéric Gonthier, and Tristan Guerra. 2019. “Les classes populaires sont-elles (les plus) populistes ? Attitudes populistes et vote radical lors de l’élection présidentielle de 2017.” L’Annee sociologique 69(2):451–78.

Althusser, Louis. 1970. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation).” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Monthly Review Press.

Barthes, Roland. 2006. “The Reality Effect.” Pp. 229–34 in The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory, 1900-2000, edited by D. J. Hale. Blackwell.

Bennett, Tony, Mike Savage, Elizabeth Bortolaia Silva, Alan Warde, Modesto Gayo-Cal, and David Wright. 2009. Culture, Class, Distinction. Routledge.

Bergfeld, Mark. 2019. “The Perils of the ‘White Working Class’: Analysing the New Dis-cussion on Class.” Global Labour Journal 10(1).

Boltanski, Luc. 1979. “Taxinomies sociales et luttes de classes.” Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales 29(1):75–106.

Boltanski, Luc, and Laurent Thévenot. 1983. “Finding One’s Way in Social Space: A Study Based on Games.” Social Science Information 22(4–5):631–680.

Bonikowski, Bart. 2017. “Nationhood as Cultural Repertoire: Collective Identities and Po-litical Attitudes in France and Germany.” Pp. 147–174 in Everyday Nationhood: Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism, edited by M. Skey and M. Antonsich. Springer.

Bornschier, Simon, Silja Häusermann, Céline Colombo, and Delia Zollinger. 2019. “How ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ Relates to Voting Behavior. Social Structure and Social Identities in Swiss Electoral Politics.” in Conference "Class without consciousness - The Poli-tics of Fragmented Class Identities. Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence. Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence.

Bornschier, Simon, and Hanspeter Kriesi. 2012. “The Populist Right, the Working Class, and the Changing Face of Class Politics.” Pp. 10–29 in Class Politics and the Radi-cal Right, edited by J. Rydgren. Routledge.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1985. “The Social Space and the Genesis of Groups.” Theory and Society 14(6):723–44.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1987. “What Makes a Social Class? On the Theoretical and Practical Ex-istence of Groups.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 32:1–17.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1988. Homo Academicus. Stanford University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. The Logic of Practice. Polity.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. “Did You Say ‘Popular’?” Pp. 90–102 in Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Polity.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2000. Pascalian Meditations. Stanford University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2013. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Routledge.

Brubaker, Rogers. 2004. Ethnicity without Groups. Harvard University Press.

Brubaker, Rogers. 2017. “Why Populism?” Theory and Society 46(5):357–85.

Canovan, Margaret. 2002. “Taking Politics to the People. Populism as the Ideology of Democracy.” in Democracies and the Populist Challenge, edited by Y. Mény and Y. Surel. Palgrave.

Castanho Silva, Bruno, Sebastian Jungkunz, Marc Helbling, and

Levente Littvay. 2019. “An Empirical Comparison of Seven Populist Attitudes Scales.” Political Research Quarterly 1065912919833176.

Casullo, María Esperanza. 2018. “The Populist Body in the Age of Social Media: A Com-parative Study of Populist and Non-Populist Representation.” in 25th Interna-tional Political Science Association Conference, Brisbane.

Daily Star. 2019. “Nigel Farage Drinks Beer ‘to Be Seen with It’ and Actually ‘Prefers Wine’. Politician Has Been Accused of Faking His Well-Publicised Love of Beer to Appear a ‘Man of the People’.” Dailystar.Co.Uk. Retrieved September 24, 2019 (https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/nigel-farage-beer-brexit-party-16770301).

Damhuis, Koen. 2019. Roads to the Radical Right. Understanding Different Forms of Elec-toral Support for Radical Right Wing Parties in France and the Netherlands. Flor-ence: European University Institute PhD Thesis.

De Keere, Kobe. 2018. “Political Distinction: Searching for a Structural Similarity between Class and Politics in Flanders (Belgium).” European Societies 20(3):375–400.

Dean, Jonathan, and Bice Maiguashca. 2020. “Did Somebody Say Populism? Towards a Renewal and Reorientation of Populism Studies.” Journal of Political Ideologies 0(0):1–17.

Diehl, Paula. 2017. “The Body in Populism.” Pp. 361–72 in Political Populism, edited by R. C. Heinisch, C. Holtz-Bacha, and O. Mazzoleni. Nomos.

Dörre, Klaus, Sophie Bose, John Lütten, and Jakob Köster. 2018. “Arbeiterbewegung von Rechts? Motive Und Grenzen Einer Imaginären Revolte.” Berliner Journal Für Soziologie 28(1–2):55–89.

Drinks Business. 2018. “Pub Landlord Outraged as Marston’s Drops ‘English’ Branding from Bombardier.” Retrieved September 24, 2019 (https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/08/pub-landlord-outraged-as-marstons-drops-english-branding-from-bombardier/).

Durkheim, Émile. 2008. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Oxford University Press.

Durkheim, Émile, and Marcel Mauss. 1963. Primitive Classification. Chicago University Press.

Eagle Brewery. 2018. “The Story of Bombardier.” Retrieved September 24, 2019 (https://www.bombardier.co.uk/the-story-of-bombardier/).

Fatke, Matthias. 2019. “The Personality of Populists: How the Big Five Traits Relate to Populist Attitudes.” Personality and Individual Differences 139:138–151.

Flemmen, Magne, Vegard Jarness, and Lennart Rosenlund. 2018. “Social Space and Cul-tural Class Divisions: The Forms of Capital and Contemporary Lifestyle Differenti-ation.” The British Journal of Sociology 69(1):124–53.

Fourcade, Marion. 2016. “Ordinalization. Lewis A. Coser Memorial Award for Theoretical Agenda Setting 2014.” Sociological Theory 34(3):175–95.

Fraser, Nancy. 2017. “From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond.” American Affairs 1(4).

Gauland, Alexander. 2018. “Fremde Federn: Warum muss es Populismus sein?” FAZ.NET, June 10.

Germani, Gino. 1978. Authoritarianism, Fascism, and National Populism. Transaction Pub-lishers.

Goodhart, David. 2017. The Road to Somewhere: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics. Penguin UK.

Groh-Samberg, Olaf, Steffen Mau, and Uwe Schimank. 2014. “Investieren in den Status: Der voraussetzungsvolle Lebensführungsmodus der Mittelschichten.” Leviathan 219–248.

Il Fatto Quotidiano. 2019. “Dalla giacca ‘dignitosa’ di Moro a Terracina al mojito e ac-quascooter di Salvini al Papeete: la politica è tornata all’ostentazione del corpo.” Il Fatto Quotidiano. Retrieved September 24, 2019 (https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2019/08/02/dalla-giacca-dignitosa-di-moro-a-terracina-al-mojito-e-acquascooter-di-salvini-al-papeete-la-politica-e-tornata-allostentazione-del-corpo/5363099/).

Il Post. 2019. “Perché Salvini continua a citare la Madonna.” Il Post. Retrieved September 25, 2019 (http://www.ilpost.it/2019/08/06/salvini-cuore-immacolato-maria-madonna/).

Jäger, Anton. 2019. “The Masses Against the Classes, or, How to Talk about Populism without Talking about Class.” Nonsite.Org (28).

Jansen, Robert S. 2011. “Populist Mobilization: A New Theoretical Approach to Popu-lism.” Sociological Theory 29(2):75–96.

Jarness, Vegard, and Magne Paalgard Flemmen. 2019. “A Struggle on Two Fronts: Boundary Drawing in the Lower Region of the Social Space and the Symbolic Market for ‘down-to-Earthness.’” The British Journal of Sociology 70(1):166–89.

Jodhka, Surinder S., Boike Rehbein, and Jessé Souza. 2017. Inequality in Capitalist Socie-ties. Taylor & Francis.

Kalb, Don. 2011. “Introduction: Headlines of Nation, Subtexts of

Class.” Pp. 1–36 in Headlines of Nation, Subtexts of Class: Working

Class Populism and the Return of the Repressed in Neoliberal Europe, edited by D. Kalb and G. Halmai. Berghahn.

Koppetsch, Cornelia. 2019. Die Gesellschaft des Zorns: Rechtspopulismus Im globalen Zeitalter. transcript.

Kriesi, Hanspeter, Edgar Grande, Martin Dolezal, Marc Helbling, Dominic Höglinger, Swen Hutter, and Bruno Wüest. 2012. Political Conflict in Western Europe. Cambridge University Press.

Kumkar, Nils C. 2018. The Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and the Great Recession. Springer.

Laclau, Ernesto. 2005. On Populist Reason. Verso.

Laclau, Ernesto. 2014. The Rhetorical Foundations of Society. Verso.

Laclau, Ernesto, and Lilian Zac. 1994. Minding the Gap: The Subject of Politics. Verso.

Lakoff, George. 1993. “The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.” Pp. 202–251 in Meta-phor and Thought, edited by A. Ortony. Cambridge University Press.

Lamont, Michèle, and Laurent Thévenot. 2000. Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociolo-gy. Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States. Cambridge Univer-sity Press.

Lawler, Stephanie. 2005. “Disgusted Subjects: The Making of Middle-Class Identities.” The Sociological Review 53(3):429–46.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1966. The Savage Mind. University of Chicago Press.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1991. Totemism. Merlin.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 2013. Myth and Meaning. Routledge.

Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien. 1926. How Natives Think. George Allen & Unwin.

Luhmann, Niklas. 1992. “Kontingenz als Eigenwert der modernen Gesellschaft.” Pp. 93–128 in Beobachtungen der Moderne. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1948. Magic, Science and Religion. And Other Essays. The Free Press.

Maton, Karl. 2013. “Habitus.” in Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts, edited by M. J. Grenfell. Routledge.

Meléndez, Carlos, and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2017. “Political Identities: The Missing Link in the Study of Populism.” Party Politics 25(4):520-33.

Mény, Yves, and Yves Surel. 2002. “The Constitutive Ambiguity of Populism.” in Democra-cies and the Populist Challenge, edited by Y. Mény and Y. Surel. Palgrave.

Moffitt, Benjamin. 2016. The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation. Stanford University Press.

Moffitt, Benjamin. 2018. “The Populism/Anti-Populism Divide in Western Europe.” Dem-ocratic Theory 5(2):1–16.

Mudde, Cas. 2007. Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge University Press.

Mudde, Cas, and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2017. Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

Murphy, Raymond. 1986. “Weberian Closure Theory: A Contribution to the Ongoing As-sessment.” The British Journal of Sociology 37(1):21–41.

Oesch, Daniel. 2008. “Explaining Workers’ Support for Right-Wing Populist Parties in Western Europe: Evidence from Austria, Belgium, France, Norway, and Switzer-land.” International Political Science Review 29(3):349–73.

Oesch, Daniel. 2012. “The Class Basis of the Cleavage between the New Left and the Radical Right.” Pp. 31–52 in Class Politics and the Radical Right, edited by J. Rydgren. London: Routledge.

Oesch, Daniel, and Line Rennwald. 2018. “Electoral Competition in Europe’s New Tripolar Political Space: Class Voting for the Left, Centre-Right and Radical Right.” Euro-pean Journal of Political Research 57(4):783–807.

Ostiguy, Pierre. 2009. “The High and the Low in Politics: A Two-Dimensional Political Space for Comparative Analysis and Electoral Studies.” Kellogg Institute Working Paper #360.

Ostiguy, Pierre. 2017. “Populism: A Socio-Cultural Approach.” Pp. 73–98 in The Oxford Handbook of Populism, edited by C. R. Kaltwasser, P.

Taggart, P. Ochoa Espejo, and P. Ostiguy. Oxford University Press.

Ostiguy, Pierre, and Kenneth M. Roberts. 2016. “Putting Trump in Comparative Perspec-tive: Populism and the Politicization of the Sociocultural Low.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs 23(1):25.

Robinson, Nathan J. 2019. “The Obama Boys.” Current Affairs. Retrieved September 24, 2019

(https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/the-obama-boys).

Rovny, Jan, and Jonathan Polk. 2019. “Still Blurry? Economic Salience, Position and Vot-ing for Radical Right Parties in Western Europe.” European Journal of Political Re-search Early View Online.

Rydgren, Jens. 2013. Class Politics and the Radical Right. Routledge.

Savage, Mike, James Barlow, Peter Dickens, and Tom Fielding. 1994. Property, Bureau-cracy, and Culture: Middle-Class Formation in Contemporary Britain. London and New York: Routledge.

Schmitter, Philippe C. 2019. “The Vices and Virtues of ‘Populisms.’” Sociologica 13(1):75–81.

Stavrakakis, Yannis. 2004. “Antinomies of Formalism: Laclau’s Theory of Populism and the Lessons from Religious Populism in Greece.” Journal of Political Ideologies 9(3):253–67.

Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Antonis Galanopoulos. 2018. “Ernesto Laclau and Communica-tion Studies.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Retrieved No-vember 24 2019 (https://oxfordre.com/communication/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228613-e-590).

Stavrakakis, Yannis, Giorgos Katsambekis, Alexandros Kioupkiolis, Nikos Nikisianis, and Thomas Siomos. 2018. “Populism, Anti-Populism and Crisis.” Contemporary Polit-ical Theory 17(1):4–27.

Steinberg, Marc W. 1995. “The Roar of the Crowd: Repertoires of Discourse and Collec-tive Action among the Spitalfields Silk Weavers in Nineteenth-Century London.” Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action 57–87.

Stubager, Rune. 2013. “The Changing Basis of Party Competition: Education, Authoritari-an–Libertarian Values and Voting.” Government and Opposition 48(3):372–97.

Taggart, Paul. 2000. Populism. Open University Press.

van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2019 “Are Universities Left‐Wing Bastions? The Political Orientation of Professors, Professionals, and Managers in Europe” British Journal of Sociology 71(1):47-73.

White, Jonathan, and Lea Ypi. 2017. “The Politics of Peoplehood.” Political Theory 45(4):439–65.

Wright, Erik Olin. 1997. Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.