Plenarveranstaltung V / Plenary session V: Populist persuasions

"Who are the ‘conservative others’? Comparative perspectives on cultural and local belonging"

Sprecher / Speaker:

Mario Krämer (Universität Siegen)

My presentation focuses on the meaning of cultural and  local belonging for the ‘conservative others’ from a comparative, transregional perspective: I compare empirical findings from KwaZulu-Natal (South  Africa) with the rise of conservative movements in the US and Europe. Underlying the current populist rhetoric and mobilization is often what has been named a ‘conservative impulse’ (Marris 1974; Waldmann 2017). Narratives of decline are one aspect of this impulse: whereas cultural anxiety (Grillo 2003) refers to a perceived threat to one’s culture, in narratives of decline social change is explicitly equated with loss and decay. My argument is that the ‘conservative others’ perceive this supposed decline more in cultural categories and less in terms of class conflict, which makes these narratives even more conflictualin the political sphere. A second aspect of the conservative impulse are exclusive forms of local belonging, that is, the idea that “rural folks are fundamentally different from urbanites in terms of lifestyles, values, and work ethic” (Cramer 2016: 5). The main goals of this presentation are, therefore, to work out the specific characteristics and  general features of the conservative impulse and to contribute to a better understanding of thought and action of the ‘conservative others’ in more general.

Datum: Mittwoch, 02. Oktober 2019