After Obamageddon: Reflections on the Rise of Right-Wing 'Doomsday' Prepping in 21st Century America
Colloquium | November 12 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Shorb House, Latinx Research Center
Michael Mills, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research, University of Kent
Center for Right-Wing Studies, Center for Ethnographic Research
This talk draws on a sustained ethnography of American 'Doomsday' prepping. Drawing on fieldwork taking place in 2014 and 2018, it pays particular attention to the political dimensions of doomsday prepping culture, including the political discontents that many preppers identify as energizing their activities (under both Obama and Trump). The talk will highlight ways in which the fears of many American preppers align with relatively mainstream right-wing politics (rather than more fringe perspectives with which prepping tends to be associated in much academic and popular commentary). That said, it will also contend that prepping's status as a 'mainstream' phenomenon is dependent on a continually shifting right-wing mainstream that increasingly embraces Far and Extreme Right thinking. It will conclude by offering some thoughts as to how prepping culture may change in the future specifically as the USA heads into (and beyond) the 2020 election.