Michaela Benson BA PhD

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Sociology
Email michaela.benson (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 3110
Michaela Benson BA PhD

Michaela Benson is an ethnographer and sociologist known for her contributions to several fields: migration & citizenship; class, place and belonging. She is currently a recipient of the British Academy’s Mid-Career Fellowship, for the project Britain and its overseas citizens: from decolonisation to Brexit. This builds on her career-long research expertise in contemporary British emigration, notably through her leadership of the BrExpats research project ("https://brexitbritsabroad.org") which examined Brexit and its impacts for the 1.2 million Britons resident in the EU27 monograph The British in Rural France ("https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719082498/").

In January 2017 Michaela took over as Editor-in-Chief of The Sociological Review ("https://thesociologicalreview.com"), Britain’s oldest sociology journal. She is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies ("https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjms20/current").

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Sociology and Social Anthropology 2008

Publications

Book

Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen . 2018. Lifestyle migration and colonial traces in Malaysia and Panama. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137511577

Bacque, Marie-Helene; Bridge, Gary; Benson, Michaela ; Butler, Tim; Charmes, Eric; Fijalkow, Yankel; Jackson, Emma ; Launay, Lydie and Vermeesch, Stephanie. 2015. The middle classes and the city: a study of Paris and London. Houdsmill, Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 9781137332592

Benson, Michaela . 2011. The British in Rural France: Lifestyle Migration and the Ongoing Quest for a Better Way of Life. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719082498

Edited Book

Benson, Michaela and Hamiduddin, Iqbal, eds. 2017. Self-Build homes: social discourse, experiences and directions. London: UCL Press. ISBN 978‑1‑911576‑87‑7

Benson, Michaela and Osbaldiston, Nicholas, eds. 2014. Understanding lifestyle migration: theoretical approaches to migration and the quest for a better way of life. Houdsmill, Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 9781137328663

Benson, Michaela and Munro, Rolland, eds. 2011. Sociological routes and political roots. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781444338133

Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen, eds. 2009. Lifestyle migration: expectations, aspirations and experiences. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-7567-9

Lord, Michaela and Carter, Denise, eds. 2006. Engagements with learning and teaching in higher education: a view from anthropology. Birmingham: Higher Education Academy. ISBN 1902191307

Book Section

Benson, Michaela . 2018. Constellations of privilege: the racialised and classed formation of Britons living in rural France. In: Pauline Leonard and Katie Walsh, eds. British Migration: Privilege, Diversity and Vulnerability. Abingdon: Rouledge, pp. 23-39. ISBN 9781138690332

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma . 2018. From class to gentrification and back again. In: , ed. The Handbook of Gentrification Studies. London: Edward Elgar, pp. 63-80. ISBN 9781785361739

O'Reilly, Karen and Benson, Michaela . 2015. Lifestyle Migration. In: Wendy Martin and Julia Twigg, eds. Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology. London: Routledge, pp. 420-427. ISBN 9781136221033

Benson, Michaela and Charsley, Katharine. 2015. From genuine to sham marriage: moral panic and the ‘authenticity’ of relationships. In: Michaela Benson, ed. Revisiting Moral Panic. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 9781447321859

Benson, Michaela . 2014. Negotiating privilege in and through lifestyle migration. In: Michaela Benson and Nick Osbaldiston, eds. Understanding Lifestyle Migration. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 47-69. ISBN 9781137328663

Benson, Michaela and Osbaldiston, Nick. 2014. New horizons in lifestyle migration research: theorizing movement, settlement and the search for a better way of life. In: Michaela Benson and Nick Osbaldiston, eds. Understanding Lifestyle Migration. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 1-25. ISBN 9781137328663

Benson, Michaela and Jackiewicz, Ed. 2013. Questioning ‘The Fight to Stay Put’ as an Explanation of the Impact of Lifestyle Migration and Residential Tourism Development. In: G Curti; J Craine and S Aitken, eds. The Fight to Stay Put: Social Lessons Through Media Imaginings of Urban Transformation and Change. Frankfurt: Franz Steiner Verlag, pp. 229-240. ISBN 978-3-515-10212-4

Benson, Michaela . 2010. ‘We’re not Expats; we are not Migrants; we are Sauliaçoise’: Laying Claim to Belonging in Rural France. In: B Bonisch-Brednich and C Trundle, eds. Local Lives: Migration and the Micro-politics of Place. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 67-84. ISBN 9781409401032

Benson, Michaela . 2009. A desire for difference: British lifestyle migration to southwest France. In: Michaela Benson and Karen O'Reilly, eds. Lifestyle Migration: Expectations, Aspirations and Experiences. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 121-136. ISBN 9780754675679

O'Reilly, Karen and Benson, Michaela . 2009. Lifestyle Migration: Escaping to the Good Life. In: Michaela Benson and Karen O'Reilly, eds. Lifestyle Migration: Expectations, Aspirations and Experiences. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9780754675679

Article

Benson, Michaela . 2021. Brexit’s hidden costs for Britons living in the EU. Current History, 120(824), pp. 118-120. ISSN 0011-3530

Jackson, Emma ; Benson, Michaela and Calafate-Faria, Francisco . 2021. Multi-sensory ethnography and vertical urban transformation: Ascending the Peckham Skyline. Social & Cultural Geography, 22(4), pp. 501-522. ISSN 1464-9365

Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen. 2020. Reflexive Practice in Live Sociology: Lessons from researching Brexit in the lives of British Citizens living in the EU-27. Qualitative Research, ISSN 1468-7941

Benson, Michaela . 2020. Emigration in Brexit times: why are British citizens moving to the EU? The UK in a Changing Europe,

Benson, Michaela . 2020. Brexit and the classed politics of bordering: the British in France and European belongings. Sociology, 54(3), pp. 501-517. ISSN 0038-0385

Benson, Michaela . 2020. A ‘Good Citizen’ for pandemic times. Discover Society,

Benson, Michaela . 2019. Who do governments represent? The history of voting rights for Brits abroad. Europe Street News,

Benson, Michaela and Lewis, Chantelle . 2019. Brexit, British People of Colour in the EU-27 and everyday racism in Britain and Europe. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(13), pp. 2211-2228. ISSN 0141-9870

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma . 2017. Making the middle classes on shifting ground? Residential status, performativity and middle‐class subjectivities in contemporary London. British Journal of Sociology, 68(2), pp. 215-233. ISSN 0007-1315

Benson, Michaela . 2016. Deconstructing Belonging in Lifestyle Migration: Tracking the Emotional Negotiations of the British in Rural France. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19(5), pp. 481-494. ISSN 1367-5494

Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen. 2016. From Lifestyle Migration to Lifestyle in Migration: Categories, concepts and ways of thinking. Migration Studies, 4(1), pp. 20-37. ISSN 2049-5838

Benson, Michaela . 2015. Class, Race, Privilege: Structuring the Lifestyle Migrant Experience in Boquete, Panama. Journal of Latin American Geography, 14(1), pp. 19-37. ISSN 1548-5811

Benson, Michaela ; Bridge, Gary and Wilson, Deborah. 2015. School Choice in London and Paris - A Comparison of Middle-class Strategies. Social Policy & Administration, 49(1), pp. 24-43. ISSN 01445596

Benson, Michaela . 2015. Lifestyle migration: from the state of the art to the future of the field. Two Homelands, 42, pp. 9-23. ISSN 0353-6777

Benson, Michaela . 2014. Trajectories of middle-class belonging: The dynamics of place attachment and classed identities. Urban Studies, 51(14), pp. 3097-3112. ISSN 0042-0980

Jackson, Emma and Benson, Michaela . 2014. Neither ‘Deepest, Darkest Peckham’ nor ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ East Dulwich: The Middle Classes and their ‘Others’ in an Inner-London Neighbourhood. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(4), pp. 1195-1210. ISSN 03091317

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma . 2013. Place-making and Place Maintenance: Practices of Place and Belonging among the Middle Classes. Sociology, 47(4), pp. 793-809. ISSN 0038-0385

Benson, Michaela . 2013. Living the ‘Real’ Dream in La France Profonde: Lifestyle Migration, Social Distinction, and the Authenticities of Everyday Life. Anthropological Quarterly, 86(2), pp. 501-525. ISSN 0003-5491

Benson, Michaela . 2013. Postcoloniality and Privilege in New Lifestyle Flows: The Case of North Americans in Panama. Mobilities, 8(3), pp. 313-330. ISSN 1745-0101

Charsley, Katharine; van Hear, Nick; Benson, Michaela and Storer, Brooke. 2012. Marriage-related Migration to the UK. International Migration Review, 46(4), pp. 861-890. ISSN 0197-9183

Charsley, Katharine and Benson, Michaela . 2012. Marriages of Convenience and Inconvenient Marriages: Regulating Spousal Migration to Britain. Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law, 26(1), pp. 10-26. ISSN 17467632

Benson, Michaela . 2012. How culturally-significant imaginings are translated into lifestyle migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38(10), pp. 1681-1696. ISSN 1369-183X

Benson, Michaela . 2011. Landscape, imagination and experience: processes of emplacement among the British in rural France. The Sociological Review, 58, pp. 61-77. ISSN 0038-0261

Benson, Michaela . 2011. The movement beyond (lifestyle) migration: mobile practices and the constitution of a better way of life. Mobilities, 6(2), pp. 221-235. ISSN 1745-0101

Benson, Michaela . 2010. Landscape, Imagination and Experience: Processes of Emplacement among the British in Rural France. The Sociological Review, 58(S2), pp. 61-77. ISSN 0038-0261

Benson, Michaela . 2010. The context and trajectory of lifestyle migration: the case of the British residents of southwest France. European Societies, 12(1), pp. 45-64. ISSN 1461-6696

Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen. 2009. Migration and the search for a better way of life: a critical exploration of lifestyle migration. The Sociological Review, 57(4), 608 -625. ISSN 0038-0261

Benson, Michaela and Carter, Denise. 2008. Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies. Anthropology in Action, 15(3), pp. 1-7. ISSN 0967201X

Audio

Lewis, Chantelle ; Regis, Tissot; Ofori-Addo, George and Benson, Michaela . 2019. Surviving Society - Episode 46: Michaela Benson | Retireiving Emigration Histories.

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma . 2018. Above Street Level Podcasts.

Benson, Michaela . 2017. The Brexit Brits Abroad Podcast.

Benson, Michaela . 2016. Reporting on self build on Thinking Allowed - 23/03/16.

Broadcast

Benson, Michaela . 2019. Britons living in EU countries ‘denied democracy’ in UK ‘Brexit election’.

Benson, MC . 2017. Michaela Benson - Brexit Podcast - What Brits in France think about Brexit.

Film/Video

Benson, Michaela and Morris, Tom. 2019. Brexit Brits Abroad Animations.

Printed Ephemera

Jackson, Emma and Benson, Michaela . 2018. Above Street Level.

Benson, Michaela . 2016. Beyond Grand Designs: everyday stories of selfbuild.

Report

Benson, Michaela . 2020. Brexit and the British in France. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Benson, Michaela ; Bica, Mihai Calin; Desira, Christopher; Erdunast, Paul; Masri, Nicole; Persey, Ollie; Sumption, Madeleine; Wilkins, Hannah; Yong, Adrienne; York, Sheona; Zagrodniczek, Katarzyna and Zarkovic, Maja. 2019. Brexit’s Effect on Citizens, Human Rights & Immigration. Working Paper. City Law School Working Paper Series, City, University of London.

Benson, Michaela ; O'Reilly, Karen and Collins, Katherine . 2018. What does Brexit mean for UK citizens living in the EU27? Talking citizens' rights with UK citizens across the EU27. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Benton, Meghan; Ahad, Aliyyah; Benson, Michaela ; Collins, Katherine ; McCarthy, Helen and O'Reilly, Karen . 2018. Next Steps: Implementing a Brexit Deal for UK Citizens Living in the EU-27. Project Report. Migration Policy Institute Europe, Brussels.

Benson, Michaela . 2017. What does Brexit mean for British citizens living in the EU27? Talking Brexit with the British in France. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Charsley, Katharine; van Hear, Nick; Benson, Michaela and Storer, Brooke. 2011. Marriage-Related Migration to the UK. Project Report. Home Office, London.

Further profile content

Grants and awards

2020: Britain and its overseas citizens from decolonisation to Brexit
British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship MD19\190055

2017: BrExpats - Freedom of Movement, Citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the European Union
ESRC ES/R000875/1

2016: Above Street Level - Rethinking power, place and encounter through the Peckham Skyline
British Academy Small Grant SG-153099

2013: Self-building - the production and consumption of new homes from the perspective of households
ESRC Future Research Leaders ES/K001078/1

2009: Contemporary North American Migration to Panama: Expectations, Outcomes and Dynamics
British Academy Small Grant SG-53957

2008: The Sociological Review Fellowship

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