An anatomy of the British ‘War on Woke’

An anatomy of the British ‘War on Woke’

Press Release

Written by: Race & Class


The October 2023 issue of  Race & Class provides a cutting-edge analysis of the British ‘War on Woke’, as well as the role of ethnic minorities in the Conservative party.  

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What does the ambiguous, catch-all term ‘woke’ actually mean, and how has it become central to the UK’s political discourse today? Now in print in the October 2023 issue of Race & Class, ‘An anatomy of the British War on Woke’ by sociologists Huw C. Davies and Sheena E. MacRae, could not be more timely. The authors map out how an intensive ideological campaign against social justice movements is mobilising far-right tropes and conspiracy theories within mainstream British political discourse, revealing how motifs such as ‘cultural marxism’, ‘critical race theory’ and ‘woke ideology’ are being used to target progressive politics. 

Accompanying this article in the October issue is an analysis of the 2022 Conservative leadership campaign, of ethnic minority candidates who were also considered the most right-wing of the senior leadership. The authors (Rima Saini, Michael Bankole and Neema Begum) through critical discourse analysis of narratives related to race, borders, immigration and the ‘nation’ by contenders Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid, Nadhim Zahawi, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch position them as ethnic minority ‘post-racial gatekeepers’, intensifying a trend within the Conservative Party of legitimising the racial status quo through nominal ethnic minority representation.  



Review article 

 Book Reviews 

 Read both articles, along with the rest of the October issue online, or order a physical copy for £6. 

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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