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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Performing whiteness: Central and Eastern European young people's experiences of xenophobia and racialisation in the UK post-Brexit

Abstract

The state-induced anti-immigration environment and the normalisation of xenophobia in political and media discourses have led to the increased othering of European migrants in the UK through new forms of social stratification, especially since the Brexit Referendum of 2016. For young people who migrated to the UK as children from Central and Eastern Europe, Brexit has represented a major rupture in the process of their identity formation, adding new insecurities in the context of increasingly uncertain rights. Based on a survey with 1,120 young people aged 12-18 who identified as Central or Eastern European migrants, followed by focus groups and case studies, we report on young migrants' everyday experiences of xenophobia and racialisation. We explore the coping and resistance strategies young people used to integrate themselves in these racialized hierarchies. Drawing on insights from emergent theories of racialisation and whiteness, we add new evidence on the direct consequences of these experiences of marginalisation on young people's sense of belonging and their own attitudes towards other ethnic groups.

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Journal

JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES

Authors

Daniela Sime (United Kingdom)
Naomi Tyrrell (United Kingdom)
Emmaleena Käkelä (United Kingdom)
Marta Moskal (United Kingdom)

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Country / region covered

Population studied

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