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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

From a “community of rights” to a “community of value”: the validation of “good citizenship” among Polish migrants in Brexit Britain Seminar

13:00 - 14:00
15 June 2017
Building 58, Room 4121

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Anita Lavorgna at .

Event details

SSPC Seminar


In this paper we examine the primarily qualitative data from the 894 Polish participants who completed our Pre-UK EU Referendum online survey.

The theoretical contribution that the paper makes is to explore the relationship between the uncertainties  experienced by Polish migrants in the pre-Referendum context, their reflection of the political rhetoric at that time with regards to David Cameron’s attempted renegotiating the terms of EU migration and aspects of EU citizenship rights, in particular migrants’ rights to access benefits in the host country, and our participants’ attempts to present themselves as ideal migrants in terms of being hard-working, law-abiding and as sharing a ‘community of value’ with ordinary British citizens.

In the paper, we primarily examine the presentation of these discourse in terms of our participants’ assertions that they, as ideal migrants and net contributors to British society, should have been enfranchised to vote in the Referendum (like ordinary hard-working British citizens).

We also examine our participants’ attempts to differentiate and distance themselves from what they describe as “bad” welfare-dependent/ “abusing” non-EU and EU migrants.

Speaker information

Dr Chris Moreh ,Dr Chris Moreh is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Population Change at the University of Southampton. His main research interests are in the area of migration and mobilities, political discourse, the sociology of citizenship, and urban studies. He is currently working with Derek McGhee and Athina Vlachantoni on a project examining EU (non-UK) citizens’ attitudes towards the UK’s changing role in Europe.

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