Throwntogetherness in the East End of Glasgow: Responses to Brexit among migrant and the long-settled population

Authors: Anna Gawlewicz*, University of Glasgow
Topics: Social Geography, Urban Geography, Migration
Keywords: throwntogetherness, urban diversity, multiculture, conviviality, migration, Brexit, UK, Polish migration
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 3, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The UK vote to leave the European Union (EU), dubbed Brexit, has had a profound impact on diverse communities in British cities by mobilising a sense of insecurity and non-belonging. While significant attention has been paid to how migrants reacted to Brexit in the run-up to/straight after the EU referendum (23 June 2016), less focus has been given to responses of the long-settled population and how intertwined with stories of migration they are. Furthermore, how urban communities make sense of Brexit ‘after a while’ when most people have to carry on with their lives remains underexplored. In response, this paper looks at how Polish migrants and the long-settled residents in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland, negotiate Brexit one-two years after the vote. In doing so, it provides empirical insights into convivial encounters and engages with wider work on everyday multiculture and migrant-‘host’ relations. The East End of Glasgow has been experiencing a dramatic change in recent years and is becoming increasingly diverse. While it has a history of poverty and deprivation, it has been attracting new populations, including migrants, because of growing investment and vast regeneration agenda. Polish nationals constitute the largest migrant population in the area and have been significantly contributing to local economies, transformation and communities. The paper is based on 40 interviews with Polish and the long-settled residents conducted as part of the study ‘Living together with Brexit: Migrant-‘host’ encounters in the East End of Glasgow’ funded by the Urban Studies Foundation (Mar 2017-Dec 2019, www.livingtogetherandbrexit.com).

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