Living together in the context of Brexit: Migrant-‘host’ Encounters in the East End of Glasgow

This project explores how Polish migrants and the long-settled population ‘live together’ in the context of Brexit. It examines the nature of migrant-‘host’ encounters in the East End of Glasgow, a rapidly changing and an increasingly diverse urban area. It also investigates if and how growing insecurities and anxieties caused by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) affect these encounters and the local community more broadly. In doing so, it contributes to the understanding of how Brexit impacts on the lives of people in Scotland, which is a home to sizable migrant populations. While this issue has been heavily discussed in the media ever since the EU referendum on 23 June 2016, academically it remains underexplored and demands urgent attention.

By giving voice to both Polish migrants and the long-established population in the East End of Glasgow, the project looks at everyday lives in the area (i.e. interactions, relationships, solidarities and concerns). It also investigates the sense of security and belonging, and how they are shaped by Brexit. The project employs an intersectional approach in order to move away from the migrant/non-migrant binary and to explore how people’s encounters with each other are shaped by their diverse backgrounds (e.g. gender, age, ethnicity, class).

The project utilises a range of qualitative methods including documentary analysis, participant observation, interviews and focus groups with the residents of the East End, and expert interviews with the representatives of the local voluntary and public sector organisations. It is being carried out by Dr Anna Gawlewicz and runs from March 2017 until December 2019. This research is supported by an Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.


Dr Anna Gawlewicz, University of Glasgow


March 2017 – December 2019


Urban Studies Foundation