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").
- PhD Sociology and Social Anthropology 2008
Benson, Michaela and O'Reilly, Karen. 2018. Lifestyle migration and colonial traces in Malaysia and Panama. London: Palgrave. 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
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 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
Benson, Michaela. 2018. Constellations of privilege: the racialised and classed formations of Britons living in rural France. In: , ed. British Migration: Understanding contemporary British out-migration and its global impact. London: Rouledge.
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
Benson, Michaela. 2021. Brexit’s hidden costs for Britons living in the EU. Current History, 120(824), pp. 118-120. ISSN 0011-3530
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. 2019. Who do governments represent? The history of voting rights for Brits abroad. Europe Street News,
Jackson, Emma; Benson, Michaela and Calafate-Faria, Francisco. 2019. Multi-sensory ethnography and vertical urban transformation: Ascending the Peckham Skyline. Social & Cultural Geography, ISSN 1464-9365
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. 2015. Lifestyle migration: from the state of the art to the future of the field. Two Homelands, 42, pp. 9-23. ISSN 0353-6777
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; Bridge, Gary and Wilson, Deborah. 2014. School Choice in London and Paris - A Comparison of Middle-class Strategies. Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 01445596
Benson, Michaela. 2014. Trajectories of middle-class belonging: The dynamics of place attachment and classed identities. Urban Studies, pp. 1-16. ISSN 0042-0980
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 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
Lewis, Chantelle; Regis, Tissot; Ofori-Addo, George and Benson, Michaela. 2019. Surviving Society - Episode 46: Michaela Benson | Retireiving Emigration Histories.
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.
Further profile content
Grants and awards
Britain and its overseas citizens from decolonisation to Brexit
British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship MD19\190055
Above Street Level - Rethinking power, place and encounter through the Peckham Skyline
British Academy Small Grant SG-153099
Self-building - the production and consumption of new homes from the perspective of households
ESRC Future Research Leaders ES/K001078/1
Contemporary North American Migration to Panama: Expectations, Outcomes and Dynamics
British Academy Small Grant SG-53957
2008: The Sociological Review Fellowship