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.