"What have I done to deserve this?". Young Italian migrants in Britain narrate their reaction to Brexit and plans to the future

Mazzilli, Caterina and King, Russell (2019) "What have I done to deserve this?". Young Italian migrants in Britain narrate their reaction to Brexit and plans to the future. Rivista Geografica Italiana, 125 (4). pp. 507-523. ISSN 0035-6697

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (164kB)
[img] PDF - Other
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (73kB)

Abstract

The aim of this article is to describe the reactions of young Italian migrants in Britain to “Brexit”, the 2016 referendum decision for the UK to leave the European Union. Brexit is seen as an historical moment of “rupture” which is not only reorienting Britain’s relationship with Europe and the world but is also 523 deeply affecting the lives of its 3.2 million migrants from the EU. The empirical material comes from 35 in-depth interviews with young Italian migrants living and either studying or working in the London region: 20 interviews carried out pre-referendum and 15 post-Brexit. The analysis documents their immediate reactions and interpretations of the result (surprise, shock, anger, a sense of betrayal), their coping strategies (stressing their “rights to belong” and drawing a social boundary between themselves and “other”, i.e. East European migrants), and their plans for the future. On this last question, Brexit has not fundamentally changed their ultimate plans to return home “one day”, but in some cases it has accelerated this decision, as well as making them think about moving to another European country.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Brexit, interviews, migration plans, London region
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Caterina Mazzilli
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 12:28
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 16:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82918

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Youth Mobility: maximizing opportunities for individuals, labour markets and regions in Europe (YMOBILITY)G1590EUROPEAN UNION649491 - YMOBILITY