Young Europeans in Brexit Britain: unsettling identities

Moskal, M. and Sime, D. (2022) Young Europeans in Brexit Britain: unsettling identities. Global Networks, 22(2), pp. 183-196. (doi: 10.1111/glob.12338)

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Since the 2016 European Union referendum, young European migrants living in Britain have faced growing exposure to social exclusion and insecurities over their future. The Brexit process has not only changed their rights but has also increased their experiences of xenophobia and discrimination. In this context, we consider it timely to focus on young EU nationals’ processes of identification and (re)constructions of their identities while they negotiate the multiple challenges posed by geopolitical transformations. The social constructionist research with young migrants shows that they increasingly experience their identities as fluid, with relationships that move between proximity and distance. Our findings from focus groups with 108 young people aged 12–18 years born in Central and Eastern European countries and case studies of 20 families support this perspective. The analysis documents young people's agency and efforts to negotiate identity as a process of becoming in the context of change and uncertainty. To understand how young people from a migrant background navigate individual and collective identities, the article offers an explanatory framework that highlights their need for familiarity, continuity, and control over their lives, necessary to maintain a sense of home and 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).’
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moskal, Dr Marta
Authors: Moskal, M., and Sime, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Journal Name:Global Networks
ISSN (Online):1471-0374
Published Online:02 September 2021
First Published:First published in 22(2):183-196

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