cosmopolitanism: from brayden

In Fortune, Brayden discusses the Brexit votes as an issues of regionalism & cosmopolitanism:

Both Brexit “leavers,” whose sheer number and fury were underestimated by pollsters, and Trump supporters are more likely to belong to a social group known as “locals.” With affinities that transcend economics and even politics, locals are best defined as having a societal view focused on their local community. They tend to be less adventurous in their travel and cultural consumption (from ethnic food to music), gain status from their community affiliations, and may be wary of outsiders, especially those who are perceived to change the homogeneity of their local community.

In contrast, “cosmopolitans” tend to have a global perspective, seeing themselves as part of an economy that crosses borders, rather than being contained by them. Their social networks extend outside their local communities. They travel more, have broader consumer tastes, and see diversity in experience and friendships as a core value. While often associated with being more highly educated, cosmopolitans are just as likely to include “starving artists” as ex-patriate executives.

While the distinctions between these groups have been known for decades to social scientists, pundits have ignored the delineation between cosmopolitans and locals when discussing Brexit and the U.S. presidential campaign. By failing to recognize these groups, their motivations, and where they see themselves in the context of the world, political analysts have underestimated the very different emotional reactions that locals and cosmopolitans have toward the Brexit campaign and Trump’s promises to crack down on immigration.

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Written by fabiorojas

July 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

3 Responses

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  1. The average Trump supporter is more educated and has a higher income than the average Clinton or Sanders supporter. To call Trump supporters “locals” (which stinks from euphemism) is idiotic at best (It is also pretty racist). I don’t know what is the socioeconomic profile of the average Brexit supporter but Bryden doesn’t either. .



    July 7, 2016 at 1:46 am

  2. Pretty sure those descriptives on 538 are about people who vote in GOP primaries, not the average Trump supporter. You might imagine that Trump, like any national candidate from a major political party, draws support (but perhaps not so many primary voters) from a broad swathe of Americans, including those whom Brayden King calls “locals,” and that these locals comprise a higher proportion of Trump supporters than they do Clinton supporters.



    July 7, 2016 at 12:15 pm

  3. This is an interesting piece, and seems especially relevant for US politics. The concept of ‘locals’ reminds me of Palin’s ‘real Americans’. However, this cultural divide was not at all overlooked in the context of Brexit (at least outside US media) – where the divide between cosmopolitan London and the ‘rest of England’ is well appreciated. There are pockets of cosmopolitanism in university towns, for example, but even so Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire were a solid part of leaveland. The anti-immigrant sentiment that motivated leavers was thus very apparent, it’s just everyone seemed to assume they would be too terrified by the economic uncertainty to break the status quo and actually vote to leave.



    July 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm

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