OpenSpace Seminar: “Scotland's different”: Narratives of Scotland's distinctiveness in the post-Brexit-vote era

While Scotland has been portrayed as an outlier in the context of Brexit, we know relatively little about how ordinary people in Scotland, including a growing migrant population, make sense of this (political and media) narrative. How is Scotland produced as different in the context of Brexit? How are these stories used to re-imagine increasingly diverse Scottish society? In what ways are they being employed by migrant communities?

In order to address these questions, in this seminar I will explore everyday narratives of Scotland's distinctiveness in the post-Brexit-vote era among the long-settled population and Polish – and to a lesser degree other European Union – migrants in the East End of Glasgow. By engaging with scholarship on everyday nationalism and imagined communities, I will look at discursive claims which romanticise Scotland as different and ‘welcoming’ of immigration and position it in binary opposition to England. In doing so, I will discuss findings of the Urban Studies Foundation-funded project Living together in the context of Brexit: Migrant-‘host’ encounters in the East End of Glasgow (Mar 2017 - Dec 2019, website: Methodologically, I will draw upon a subset of the project data including 40 interviews and a focus group with the residents of Glasgow’s East End.  

You can sign up for the seminar here: