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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Studying the Emotional Costs of Integration at Times of Change: The Case of EU Migrants in Brexit Britain


Events such as Brexit have drawn attention to the precarity of contemporary migrants' settlement rights and reopened the debate on the nature of integration and assimilation processes. Drawing on participant observation and interviews with Italian and Bulgarian migrants in Brexit Britain, this article develops a novel approach for understanding migrants' changing relationships with their countries of settlement and their current and future practices. This approach builds on the sociology of emotions, which it extends to migration and diversity with a transnational sensibility. The approach is then applied to explain the different displays of emotion undertaken by our participants and their consequences. Overall, the article develops a new way to examine the subjective experiences of integration at times of change that is capable of offering important insights into the emotional costs of the neo-assimilationist climate characterising several western societies.

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Elisabetta Zontini (United Kingdom)
Elena Genova (United Kingdom)

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