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‘The island is full. Please don't come’: narratives of austerity and migration in a UK citizenship class

Tuckett, Anna (2017) ‘The island is full. Please don't come’: narratives of austerity and migration in a UK citizenship class. Anthropology Today, 33 (5). pp. 24-27. ISSN 0268-540X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-8322.12381


In the lead up to, and aftermath of, the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union, issues relating to migration and entitlement dominated public debates. In a ruthless campaign, the ‘Leave’ camp exploited the implementation of years of austerity policies by explicitly correlating their negative effects with supposedly high migrant numbers. Examining the discourses of scarcity, austerity and deservingness which prevailed during the referendum campaign, this article discusses the way in which UK citizenship classes act as spaces for both the reproduction and subversion of these narratives. On the one hand, migrants in the classes reproduce discourses which scapegoat other migrants for the effects of austerity. On the other, however, powerful messages about the fundamental human right to migrate are also championed

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Royal Anthropological Institute
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:55
Projects: ES/M003825/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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