Anna Killick
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Formal and rigged versions of ‘the economy’ in Brexit Britain
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This chapter interprets the four preceding findings chapters. It outlines a divergence between the high-income district understanding of ‘the economy’, which can be described as formal and related to the mainstream politicians’ approach to ‘the economy’ as a neutral term for impersonal forces on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the more substantivist version that emerges from the low-income district of ‘the economy’ as ‘rigged’ and more closely related to human relations. Low-income participants mention social groups, particularly ‘the rich’, far more than high-income participants in talk about ‘the economy’. The chapter explores whether gender, age, political beliefs or education shape underlying understanding of ‘the economy’, concluding that they do in some respects but that income or experiences of ‘the economy’ have a stronger impact. Further research would need to be undertaken to test these findings and probe why participants with similar underlying understanding of ‘the economy’ often go on to support different economic policies. Explanations for the deeper distrust among low-income participants outlined in Chapter 6 are considered, with some support for the thesis that distrust is rooted in negative experiences of ‘the economy’ and that some experts are ‘out of touch’.

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Understanding 'the economy' in Brexit Britain


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