Brexit-and-Covid project logo

What the research is about

Covid-19 and Brexit are extraordinary social and political processes that are occurring simultaneously. These events are exposing the major inequalities that underpin British society across class, ethnic, racial, national, migrant, generational and geographical identities. They are also both high profile public events and processes that generate media and government attention.

Building on the team’s existing project on Brexit, the research sets out to examine the resonances and contrasts in the ways in which the inequalities of covid-19 and Brexit have been framed by the media, and people’s everyday experiences. Understanding these inequalities and their potential effects on social and political polarisation is crucial to answering how and in what shape British society and democracy will emerge from both Brexit and covid-19.

How we will carry out our research

We will integrate in-depth interviews conducted across England with panel survey data and analysis of national and local media data. The research began in July 2020 with the first wave of a panel survey and initial media analysis. We will conduct a second wave of the panel survey in October 2020, and a third wave in January 2021. We will also conduct six months of ethnographic research with participants across the North East, East Midlands and South West of England that we previously interviewed as part of our Brexit project. We will also collaborate with an artist to co-produce an art installation that will convey the inequalities of covid-19 and Brexit that we identify.

Who we are

We are a team of social scientists including social anthropologists, political scientists and a human geographer.

Who is funding our research

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’ Rapid Response to COVID-19.