In Season 3 of Who do we think we are? we’re collaborating with The Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit (MIGZEN) project to focus on migration and the making of ‘Global Britain’. Considering Brexit as a pivotal moment, we’ll be examining what this meant for mobile citizens, migrants, migration flows and governance. We focus on particular on the ongoing process of redrawing the boundaries of the imagined community and the role of the migration-citizenship regime within this. But we’ll also be looking beyond the borders to consider how immigration controls, policies and legislation articulate with the British state’s present-day struggle for legitimacy and leadership on the world stage.
What does Eurovision have to do with the Coronation? We’re talking about what we learn about ‘Global Britain’ and its imagined community from looking at how migrants understand major cultural events.
Elena Zambelli explains what social scientists mean when they talk about the imagined community. Laura Clancy, sociologist of the royal family, joins us to talk about the missing voices in conversations about the future of the British monarchy. Co-hosts Nando Sigona and Michaela Benson reflect on what British citizens living abroad, EU citizens and others who have made the UK their homes told them about how they understand Britain and their place within it following Brexit. And consider what hearing from them about the monarchy, the Commonwealth Games and Eurovision makes visible about the new borders of political membership and symbolic boundaries of belonging.
You can access the full transcripts for each episode over on our website Who do we think we are?
In this episode we cover …
1 The imagined community
2 The monarchy and the myth of the British nation
3 Eurovision, the Commonwealth Games and Royal Events
Active listening questions
- What imagined community, or imagined communities, do you feel that you belong to?
- Are there public events during which you do or could celebrate your belonging to this or these communities? Which ones?
- Who do you think is excluded from this imagined community and how? And what does this tell us about the symbolic boundaries of this community?
Find more about …
What EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU think about the monarchy in Elena and Catherine’s article in the Sociological Review Magazine
The concept of imagined community in Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities and the critique offered by Partha Chatterjee’s The Nation and its Fragments
Laura’s sociology of the royal family in her book Running the family firm and the Surviving Society podcast miniseries The Global Power of the British Monarchy
Our podcast picks for this episode are:
Academic Aunties on ‘Harry and Meghan’
The Allusionist on Eurovision
Coversations with IRiS on Political Demography
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