Playing at Politics: An Ethnography of the Oxford Union


The Oxford Union is one of the most prestigious student debating societies in the world. It has been the training ground for a parade of the greatest names in British politics. Guest speakers have ranged from Michael Jackson to Bill Clinton; from Malcolm X to the Queen. The Oxford Union is proud of its tradition as a hot house training ground of British and global political talent. Playing at Politics throws open the portals of the Oxford Union as it follows the excitement, anxiety and backstabbing of a campaign for the post of president. Author Fiona Graham-an academic anthropologist-trailed a candidate for the post of president when making a film. Graham followed the candidate from the nomination process to election night and beyond. This has provided the basis for an anthropological study of this most 'establishment' institution. It is a study that throws new light on the workings of British politics.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Edinburgh
Publication year:
  • 2005


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