POPREBEL Czech ethnography
To analyse the recent transformations within work, household and care as deeply interconnected and key areas most affected by the socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The objective is to explore how the lived experiences of these transformations impact people’s political choices, beliefs and practices (across social strata).
To test the hypothesis that the current crisis is going to reinforce the pre-existing illiberal and authoritarian discourses present in the society.
-Through the process of further alienation and sense of fatigue (digitalization, teleworking, masking), intensified by a profound sense of economic insecurity (Kubik 2018).
To identify what new forms of populism emerge out of the covid-19 crisis, in the context of Czech.
-Political parties and other cultural entrepreneurs conspiracy theories groups, anti-lockdown/mask/vaccine movements, ‘agents of change’ etc.
A comparative study on the rise of populist sentiments in Czechia, Germany (Djan) and Poland (Mania).
1. Classic ethnography
- Semi-structured interviews conducted online.
-Long-term plan: to gradually move some of these interactions and engagements on the Edgeryders platform.
o Access through key informants and snowballing method.
o Participants: primarily non-university educated and non-city dwelling demographics, supposedly hit hardest by the pandemic.
-I am to situate the household as the primary unit of analysis as it best amplifies the shifting relations regarding household and work. I hope to explore and complicate the assumed connection between marginality/isolation and susceptibility to narratives of populism.
- How has the crisis affected the everyday functioning of the household?
-Re-distribution of reproductive labour (home schooling, teleworking, elderly care).
-Interpersonal, intergenerational and kin relations.
-State response to compensate for gaps in family incomes, job insecurity, childcare etc. sufficient/insufficient?
-Where do you seek help? New emerging forms of solidarity/mutual aid groups extending beyond the family unit.
o The newly imposed COVID challenges to labour and how they are being responded to by these populist forces.
-working from home versus working throughout the pandemic.
-experiences with and perceptions of receiving state welfare support (narratives of deservedness).
-Hierarchy of professions – who is needed and who is dispensable for the everyday functioning of the society.
-How are populist entities utilising these societal shifts in their political discourses?
Research questions clusters:
o First-hand experiences of the pandemic.
o Community and family.
o Economic and political turning points.
o Political representation, voting, trust in political elites.
For more elaborated list see: COMPARATIVE FIELDWORK
2. Digital ethnography
- Map out the newly emerging populist actors and groups and their influence in the digital sphere.
-Who are they, what are their political agendas and discourses, what do they campaign against, alliances/enemies, political aspirations etc.
-What media channels they utilise to attract new supporters and maintain the old ones.
-Social media as a space for explicitly political mobilisation.
o Good source to study the supply form of populism
-The aesthetics of the newly emerging populist forces that bring forwards strong features of nativism and neo-traditionalism.
-Analysis of the visual content.
-Anti-liberal, anti-cosmopolitan counter revolution.
o Part 1: social media content and discourse analysis
- discussion forums, YouTube channels, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram etc.
-Good starting point to map out the virtual landscape. Developing an ethnographic understanding of common forms and patterns of expressions.
o Part 2: active participation
-choosing two or three groups to get embedded in.
-entering into discussions with participants.
-Long-term plan: chatnography, semi-structured interviews, discussions at ER
Continue carrying out semi-structured interviews through snowballing.
Create a map of the newly emerging populist actors in the digital sphere.
-See how to get embedded and participate actively.
Create a plan of how to start engaging participants, utilising creative digital methods.
Continue developing the comparative lens with the Polish and German research projects.