Going back, staying put, moving on: Brexit and the future imaginaries of Central and Eastern European young people in Britain

Sime, D., Moskal, M. and Tyrrell, N. (2020) Going back, staying put, moving on: Brexit and the future imaginaries of Central and Eastern European young people in Britain. Central and East European Migration Review, 9(1), pp. 85-100. (doi: 10.17467/ceemr.2020.03)

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Publisher's URL: http://ceemr.uw.edu.pl/vol-9-no-1-2020/articles/going-back-staying-put-moving-brexit-and-future-imaginaries-central-and


This paper explores the ways in which young people aged 12 to 18 who were born in Central and Eastern European EU countries but now live in the United Kingdom construct their future imaginaries in the context of Brexit. It reports on findings from a large-scale survey, focus groups and family case studies to bring an original perspective on young migrants’ plans for the future, including mobility and citizenship plans, and concerns over how Britain’s decision to leave the European Union might impact them. While most of the young people planned to stay in Britain for the immediate future, it was clear that Brexit had triggered changes to their long-term plans. These concerns were linked to uncertainties over access to education and the labour market for EU nationals post-Brexit, the precarity of their legal status and their overall concerns over an increase in racism and xenophobia. While our young research participants expressed a strong sense of European identity, their imaginaries rarely featured ‘going back’ to their country of birth and instead included narratives of moving on to more attractive, often unfamiliar, destinations. The reasons and dynamics behind these plans are discussed by drawing on theories of transnational belonging.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, grant number: ES/M011038/1. Project title: Here to Stay? Identity, Belonging and Citizenship among Eastern European Settled Migrant Children in the UK (a Decade after the EU Enlargement).
Keywords:Eastern European migrants, future imaginaries, belonging, transnationalism, Brexit.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moskal, Professor Marta
Creator Roles:
Moskal, M.Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Sime, D., Moskal, M., and Tyrrell, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Journal Name:Central and East European Migration Review
Journal Abbr.:CEEMR
Published Online:26 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Central and East European Migration Review 9(1): 85-100
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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