Rescaling belonging in Brexit Britain: Spatial identities and practices of Polish nationals in Scotland after the UK Referendum

Kate Botterill* (Lead Author), Jonathan Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper discusses how the 2016 U.K. Referendum on European Union membership has shaped the spatial identities and practices of Polish nationals living in Scotland. On the basis of original qualitative data collected in Edinburgh after the referendum, we make two key arguments. First, the referendum was a catalyst for Polish nationals to rescale spatial identities and challenge normative definitions of nationalism and citizenship. We highlight the role of emotion as a key driver in this process, showing that multiscalar attachments to place and strategies for onward mobility, adaptation, and integration after Brexit are constructed through emotionality. Second, the paper argues that Polish nationals' spatial practices have been shaped by anti-immigrant discourse and sentiment surrounding the Brexit vote. In particular, local public spaces are viewed simultaneously as sites of potential conflict and sites of meaningful intercultural engagement and everyday citizenship. A broader aim of the paper is to advance feminist theory and praxis in population geography through a focus on nonhierarchical and relational scales of experience to better understand migrant identities and practices in a changing Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2217
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Brexit
  • emotion
  • EU migration
  • geopolitics
  • relationality
  • scale

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