Stoking Hate: Configuring Loss in Explanations of Racially Aggravated Crime

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Abstract

Why do some people racially abuse others? In this article, I revisit fieldwork conducted in the early 2000s in Stoke-on-Trent in North Staffordshire with people implicated in racially harassment and racially aggravated crimes. I consider how Keval’s (2024) concept of a ‘haunting melody of loss’ can be used to capture the psychosocial dynamics apparent among people who directed their animosity towards migrant and minority ethnic groups in the midst of their own experiences of loss of face, reputation, health, financial security, control and a sense of community. The article contemplates how such dynamics subsequently became more pervasive features of the British political land, capitalised on by parties of the political right and far-right in the decade that followed. It also invites psychosocial reflections on the harms caused to migrant and minority ethnic populations demonised, misleadingly, as to blame for the losses of encountered by large sections of the ethnic majority white population and notes the enduring dangers cultivated by misdirecting the grief of loss posed by populist politics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jun 2024

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