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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Intergenerational narratives of citizenship among EU citizens in the UK after the Brexit referendum


The share of British naturalization applications by EU citizens increased in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum. This article offers unique insights into the range of motivations informing decisions to become British or not among EU families from new and old EU member states. It contributes to scholarship on migrants' lived experiences of naturalization by adopting a family-centred approach to explore intergenerational and intersectional dynamics in citizenship decision making. Naturalization involves personal and collective reckoning with a sense of loss of status and imagined future. We argue that rather than a “premium”, naturalization is framed by many EU citizens as a response to a perceived loss of status (defensive narrative) and threat (protective narrative). This process is mediated and negotiated within the household, and the narratives of naturalization are embedded in participants' social positioning and shaped by their social statuses and senses of entitlement.

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Marie Godin (United Kingdom)
Nando Sigona (United Kingdom)

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