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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The representation of a constituency is at the heart of most democracies. In many countries an elected representative acts as a bridge between a parliament and a locality, while members of the parliament as a collective mediate between the center and the whole of that nation. This chapter explains why a methodological approach that relies on collaborative ethnography and multidisciplinary theorizing is a powerful way to probe the performances, identities, and emotions underlying the work of elected politicians. Taking a relational and performative approach, the chapter considers how these relationships in politics are not merely about interests, roles, or viewpoints; politicians have the power of evocation and so are important to people’s imagination and feeling of belonging. Politicians who ignore the sacred—the ritual, symbolism, and drama of politics—and merely try to impress voters with their ideological standpoints, will find it harder to secure support.

Keywords: constituencies, emotions, identity, parliament, representation

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