Introduction

This is not a paper about the rights or wrongs of political correctness, or a detailed cultural exploration of its origins and meaning. It is a paper with more modest ambitions: to explore the degree to which political correctness may affect the practice of qualitative research. It is limited even further in scope. It only seeks to explore the potential impacts on a certain section of society - the audience that can be described (very loosely) as working class. This is partly because the body of work that inspired this paper was predominantly amongst this audience, but it is, arguably, the section of society that is most constrained by political correctness.

Although not a study of political correctness per se, it is useful to start with some background on the subject. However, even defining political correctness is a challenge. The subject is so divisive that no neutral definition seems possible. Even using the term uncritically may imply a certain political stance - as the term is pejorative. Nonetheless, that is not the case here - the expression is used as a matter of convenience and simplicity. In addition, it is used because the paper explores the phenomenon from the perspective the Brexit voters' - and it is the term they use.