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Identity, inequality, and the media in Brexit-Covid-19-Britain

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, national, migrant, generational and geographical identities. They are also both high profile public events and processes that generate media and government information. The proposed 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 everyday experiences. Understanding these inequalities and their potential effects on social and political polarisation is crucial to answering how and in what shape British democracy emerges from Brexit and Covid -19. To do this, we will conduct new research on individual experiences and media narratives that builds on existing data collection about Brexit Britain. By building on this previous research, we can provide a unique longitudinal understanding of the social and political impact of Covid19 in Brexit Britain. The research will begin in May 2020 with the first wave of a panel survey and initial media content analysis collected during the lockdown period, with a second wave of the panel survey taking place in September 2020 when it is expected that some restrictions will have been lifted, and a third wave in January 2021, which will provide the context for and coincide with the beginning of six months of ethnographic research with participants we previously interviewed as part of a Brexit project.

Lead investigator:

Katharine Tyler


University of Exeter

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date


End date



Periodic (other)