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Title: Young Scottish conservatives and conservative values a qualitative study of the role of values and evaluation in young Scottish conservatives’ everyday lives
Author: Bednarek, Antje
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 0660
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis presents a sociological exploration of the values that underlie contemporary Scottish Conservatism. The empirical focus was on a group of young members of the Conservative Party, with whom I carried out twenty qualitative interviews and participant observation for the duration of one year, and on their specific understandings of what Conservatism means today. The group and the ways in which the members had made the decision to join the Conservative Party indicate a great variety of socioeconomic and ideological backgrounds in the Party, which contradicts the stereotypical image that Conservatives are rich and middle class. However, as a narrative analysis of five interviews shows, class-based evaluations entailing a valorisation of middle- and upper-class values and a concomitant deprecation of the working class mark many young Conservatives' social cognition. This is being disguised to an extent, in the interviews as well as in the daily practices that constitute being Conservative. Drawing on participant observation data to describe those, I show that the annual events cycle that young Conservatives participate in contains events that take place in public settings and those that occur in the privacy of inner-Party circles. In public, the Conservative Party is presented as egalitarian, warm and caring, whereas in private settings upperclass cultural practices dominate. The Conservative lifeworld is thus a bifurcated one. It is also one marked by tensions between different factions within the Conservative Party, which I also discuss.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available