Who Is a Right-Wing Supporter? On the Biographical Experiences of Young Right-Wing Voters in Poland and Germany





Right-Wing Populism, Biographical Research, Precarious Work, Poland, Germany


This article explores the selected cases of the biographies of right-wing supporters from a larger sample of narrative interviews with young (18-35 years old) people in Poland and Germany. In the existing literature, we can find the socio-economic explanations of the sources of the right-wing turn (related to economic deprivation, precarisation, social exclusion, labor market competition with immigrants and others), as well as cultural explanations connected with new identity politics, symbolic exclusion and divide between society and political elites, the disembedding from previously solid communities, and the fear of new risks related to the inflow of cultural Others. Despite notable exceptions, it is rather uncommon to discuss in this context the actual biographical experiences of right-wing and far-right supporters. In the article, we take a closer look at four biographical cases of people declaring their political support for far right parties. The analysis of the cases leads to the distinction of socio-economic and socio-political pathways to right-wing populist support.


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Author Biographies

Adam Mrozowicki, University of Wrocław, Poland

Adam Mrozowicki, sociologist, associate professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław, Poland. The leader of the UWr team on the NCN-DFG PREWORK project on young precarious workers in Poland and Germany. His academic interests lie in the areas of the sociology of work, economic sociology, comparative employment relations, precarity, critical social realism, and biographical methods.

Vera Trappmann, Leeds University Business School, UK

Vera Trappmann is an associate professor at Leeds University Business School (UK). Her research engages with the comparison of labor relations across Europe, focusing on the dynamics of organizational restructuring and its impact on working biographies, precarisation, and organized labor.

Alexandra Seehaus, Free University Berlin, Germany; Leeds University Business School, UK

Alexandra Seehaus is a researcher on the NCN-DFG PREWORK Project at Free University Berlin, Germany, and doctoral candidate at Leeds University Business School (UK). Her academic interests lie in the sociology of work and the reproduction of inequalities. She has been working on the perception and impact of ongoing precarisation in Germany and is examining social, political, and class consciousness among young precarious workers.

Justyna Kajta, University of Wrocław, Poland

Justyna Kajta, PhD in social sciences, sociologist, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław, Poland, in the projects “(De/Re)Constructing Borders—Narratives and Imaginaries on Divided Towns in Central Europe in Comparative Perspective” and “Right-Wing Populism among Young Germans and Poles.” Her main research interests concern nationalism, social movements, sociology of borderland, social and political changes in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as qualitative research, for example, biographical method and discourse analysis.


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How to Cite

Mrozowicki, A., Trappmann, V., Seehaus, A., & Kajta, J. (2019). Who Is a Right-Wing Supporter? On the Biographical Experiences of Young Right-Wing Voters in Poland and Germany. Qualitative Sociology Review, 15(4), 212–235. https://doi.org/10.18778/1733-8077.15.4.10

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