Dr Michaela Benson

… thinking with the idea of privilege as a constellation shifts the focus from absolute understandings towards the recognition that privilege is constituted through a range of characteristics.

In the case of the British resident in Europe, this is a constellation that has included up until now European Citizenship, but which also connects with class and racial formations that have longer histories and residues. Questioning the constitution of this privilege allows for the interrogation of the extent to which British migration to Europe rests on the project of European integration and how privilege will be reshaped in the aftermath of Brexit.

– Benson, M. (2018) Constellations of privilege: the racialised and classed formation of
Britons living in rural France, in Leonard, P. and Walsh, K. (eds) British Migration: privilege, diversity and vunerability. London: Routledge. pp. 23-39.

Michaela is the project lead and a sociologist based at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her responsibilities on the project include, primary research with UK Citizens living in the Lot and Toulouse, project management and coordination, and hosting the project podcast.

She is internationally renowned for her research with UK citizens living in rural France, conducting research and writing on this topic since the early 2000s. She  is particularly interested in themes of identity, citizenship and belonging. This research has featured in the media and on BBC Radio 4’s flagship social science programme, Thinking Allowed. In 2011, she published her book The British in Rural France with Manchester University Press, which was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize (2012). The following list of publications represents just some of her writing in this area:

  • Benson, M. (2018) Constellations of privilege: the racialised and classed formation of Britons living in rural France, in Leonard, P. and Walsh, K. (eds) British Migration: privilege, diversity and vunerability. London: Routledge. pp. 23-39.