Moral regulation and a good moral panic: UK Polish migrant workers and the 2016 EU Referendum

Fitzgerald, Ian and Smoczyński, Rafał (2023) Moral regulation and a good moral panic: UK Polish migrant workers and the 2016 EU Referendum. Current Sociology, 71 (3). pp. 379-397. ISSN 0011-3921

Current Sociology final submission.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (803kB) | Preview
Official URL:


The UK 2016 EU Referendum has introduced a period of uncertainty for both the indigenous population and for non-British citizens. This uncertainty is considered within a framework of the recent revisions in the sociology of moral panics through an analysis of interviews with Polish migrant workers. This analysis reveals two main discursive framing logics. The first logic refers to a self-reported anti-Polish migrant moral panic discourse that – according to respondents – was exploited by British anti-migrant campaigners. The second type of articulation illustrates the good moral panic logic, namely, a panicking discourse appearing among respondents about the vulnerability of their community in post-Referendum Britain. This article, however, problematises the good moral panic logic by eliciting competing narratives found in the interview data. The latter did not aim merely at stimulating caring attitudes but referred also to moral regulation techniques to manage Brexit-oriented risks and avoid the trap of becoming a vulnerable migrant.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Research funded by Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej (Bekker Programme).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brexit, good moral panic, intelligentsia, moral panic, Polish migrants in the UK
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
N100 Business studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 14:39
Last Modified: 26 May 2023 10:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics