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Obamageddon: Fear, the Far Right, and the Rise of “Doomsday” Prepping in Obama’s America

Mills, Michael (2019) Obamageddon: Fear, the Far Right, and the Rise of “Doomsday” Prepping in Obama’s America. Journal of American Studies, . ISSN 0021-8758. E-ISSN 1469-5154. (doi:10.1017/S0021875819000501)

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This article examines the politics of American ‘doomsday’ prepping during Barack Obama’s presidency. It challenges claims that growing interest in prepping post-2008 arose exclusively from extreme apocalyptic, White Supremacist, and anti-government reactions to Obama’s electoral successes – claims that suggest prepping to be politically congruent with previous waves of extreme right-wing American ‘survivalism’. Drawing on ethnography, this paper argues that, while fears of Obama have been central to many preppers’ activities, much of their prepping under his presidency centred on fears that sit outside of survivalist politics. Building on this, the article illuminates connections between prepping and America’s 21st century electoral mainstream. Engaging with discussions about the ‘remaking’ of American conservatism during Obama’s presidency (Skocpol and Williamson, 2011), it particularly frames prepping’s growth as being engaged with, and shaped by, currents of mainstream anti-Obama fear that similarly undergirded the Tea Party’s rise within popular Republicanism at this time.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0021875819000501
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Criminology
Depositing User: Michael Mills
Date Deposited: 28 May 2019 14:22 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2019 16:02 UTC
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