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Accepted Paper:

Leave/Remain: Emotions and the Pacing of Mobility Practices among the French in London post-Brexit  
Deborah Reed-Danahay (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Paper short abstract:

The Brexit Referendum prompted many French settlers in London to express resentment -- the feeling of being rejected and no longer "at home." This paper sheds light on the role of emotions in the pacing of mobility through a case study of relatively privileged migrants facing an uncertain future.

Paper long abstract:

This paper sheds light on the role of emotions in the pacing of mobility practices through a case study of French settlers in London, a city bearing the traces of several periods of intense migration from France, and their reactions to the 2016 Brexit Referendum. There are approximately 300,000 French people living in London today, many of whom arrived with the benefits of mobility associated with being EU citizens. An acceleration of movement to Great Britain that began in the 1990s was layered upon that of the Normans, Huguenots, Royalists fleeing the French Revolution, exiles from the Franco-Prussian War, and the Free French government of World War II. Brexit has intensified an overall feeling of uncertainty about their future in London among a wide range of French settlers, including both newcomers and more long-term residents. Many of those with whom I have interacted during ethnographic research begun in 2015 have long enjoyed a sense of being desired residents in a desirable location, and benefited from being in close physical proximity to France. This only intensified the feelings of betrayal and rejection they experienced after the vote. In light of the changing legal and socio-economic landscape in which they dwell, French "middling" and relatively privileged (Amit 2007; Raj 2003) "EU movers" (Recchio 2015) in London are now compelled to reflect upon their positionality and trajectories. Emotions (desires, aspirations, anxieties, and refusals) are central to their deliberations and plans about whether or not, and when, to leave London.

Panel P080
Pacing mobilities: a consideration of shifts in the timing, intensity, tempo and duration of mobility [AnthroMob]
  Session 1 Tuesday 14 August, 2018, -