Complexities of mobility: beyond the binaries of lifestyle v. economic migration

Aleksandra Galasinska (University of Wolverhampton)
Natalia Bloch (Warsaw University)
Start time:
16 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel scrutinises dichotomous mobility categories (e.g. lifestyle v. economic migration). We invite papers that look at how the moral dimension of migratory processes, e.g. the ideas of 'good life' and migrants' evolving values, can be used to better understand the complexities of mobility.

Long abstract:

While categorizations are recognized as a universal tool of knowledge, also in the studies of mobility, they can serve to mask the complexities inherent in the lived experience of spatial movement. They can also naturalize contingent and constructed aspects of socio-cultural practice (cf. Dahinden 2015). Therefore, placing mobility categorizations under scrutiny can become a way to unravel their vital aspects that have hitherto fallen out of focus. The permeability of the boundary between tourism and migration has been already exposed (e.g. William and Hall 2001; Uriely 2002). In the area of leisure studies too, Rojek (2010) has demonstrated leisure can become labour and vice versa. In the proposed panel, we suggest that the boundary between the notions of economic migration and lifestyle migration is also blurred, and that paying attention to moral dimension of migrations allows to demonstrate their constructed nature as well as to better understand mobility. The mobility motivations are not fixed sets of embodied ideas, rather they evolve overtime and as a result of interaction between mobile individuals, rooted in local and transnational contexts. Similarly, dichotomies between the domestic and international migration as well as South-North and North-South migration are not water tight. We invite papers that look as how migrants' ideas of 'good life' and values that drive their mobilities (but also transform as a result thereof) vary and converge across different contexts.