Challenges in Lifestyle Migration Research: Reflections and Findings about the Spanish Crisis

By Raquel Huete, Alejandro Mantecón & Jesús Estévez

This article raises interesting questions about the role of economics in lifestyle migration, particularly in a time of economic crisis. It is available here and the abstract appears below.

The lifestyle migration conceptual framework is based on the motivation for moving reported by the migrants themselves. We discuss the operability of this approach, which is built on the subjective assessments of individuals. It diminishes the actual importance of economic factors and has an underlying ideological element associated with the categorisation of people according to their nationality. A comparative analysis of residential variations by nationalities between 2005 and 2010 in Alicante (Spain) shows that, when faced with the economic crisis, the so-called lifestyle migrants are changing their mobility patterns in a way similar to the rest of the migrants. This calls into question the adequacy of juxtaposing lifestyle and labour migration. Both theory and research show that this duality, instead of clarifying applied research, makes it more difficult. We argue that the lifestyle migration framework is inadequate to study changes in mobility patterns, particularly when using a quantitative approach.

3 thoughts on “Challenges in Lifestyle Migration Research: Reflections and Findings about the Spanish Crisis

  1. What would be your reply to their comment “We argue that the lifestyle migration framework is inadequate to study changes in mobility patterns”

    Like

  2. Hi Dave,

    I actually did a presentation recently on LM and economic crisis. The ppt. slides are here http://british-migration-research.group.shef.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Benson.pdf

    My overall sense is that the paper reminds us that economic motivations are part of lifestyle migration, but that even in times of economic crisis we should be wary of assuming that they take precedence within people’s decisions to stay or go. Of primary importance to understanding changing trends is talking to people. The trends provide a starting point for the conversations which may or may not show the continuing salience of LM. But we should not just translate economic crisis as context into economic crisis as explanation.

    Michaela

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s