Conference Agenda

RS16_02: Spatial Mobilities: Practices and Decision-Making Process
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Heiko Rüger, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), Germany
Session Chair: Gil Viry, University of Edinburgh
Location: BS.4.05B
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Fourth Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Mobilities, Migration and More: Reconsidering the Agendas in Rural Youth Research

Raili Nugin

Tallinn University, Estonia

Drawing on fieldwork in six Estonian rural areas in 2010-2019, the paper calls for a nuanced understanding of processes of mobility and migration in rural areas. Based on qualitative in-depth and focus-group interviews with rural youth and key stake-holders, several phenomena will be pointed out that need to be dealt with in order to adequately gasp the dynamics of mobility. It will be argued that when speaking about the mobility of rural youth, we must not concentrate only on their migration intentions, place attachment or migration from rural places. Nor should we limit our research to young people who are in the years of their transition to adulthood. Rather, we should pay attention on their mobility practices from their early childhood, see the connections between mobility practices and class, but also the intertwining of the local context with the mobility practices and its impact on mobilities in further life. Mobility may depend on, but may have impact to several aspects, such as spatial arrangement of the village, social hierarchies in the community and the symbolic position of the location. Though access to mobility in rural context has become widely spread among all social strata, it tends to remain class specific regardless to the distances it embraces. Also, the aspects of belonging and place attachment can be class-specific and may be intertwined with mobility practices.

An "Everett Hughes" In The Engine: The Moral Organization Of Everyday Spatial Mobility

Joseph Cacciari1,3, Anne Aguilera2,3, Leslie Belton-Chevallier2,4

1Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, France; 2Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, de l'aménagement et des réseaux; 3Laboratoire Ville Mobilité transport; 4Laboratoire Dynamiques Économiques et Sociales des Transports

Constraint or choice ? Rational action or produces of habits and social norms? Social practices of everyday spatial mobility are often analysed by researchers from the perspective of these opposition couples. A brief review of the scientific literature on the subject even shows that these dichotomies tend to be routinised: they are no longer, or only slightly, questioned in their foundations over time and as investigations accumulate. However, these pairs of notions lead to impasses in the knowledge of the social fact of daily spatial mobility, homogenizing and decontextualizing practices, for example. These pairs of notions can also make us lose sight of the internal complexity of what "mobility" means for everyone along the biographical trajectory. The objective of this presentation is to suggest some ways to take a step aside which, although far from revolutionary, could contribute to the re-examination of these pairs of notions that form the basis of most research in the field and the epistemological obstacles that they may present to the researcher. To this end, the presentation will draw on the achievements of other fields of sociology, and in particular on E. Hughes' long-standing reflections on the moral organization of work activities, with the aim of assessing the possible effects of their transposition to research on the social practices of spatial mobility.

Are You Ready To Move? A Study On Individuals' Propensity Toward Spatial Mobility, Evidence From Italy.

Matteo Bocchino, Federico Fantechi

Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy

Spatial mobility is an important feature of our society. People move around. Old people do, young people as well, both male and female. Starting from a sociological approach which puts the individual perspective at the centre of the process, our contribution does not focus on the actual experience of mobility, rather it focuses on the individual propensity toward mobility. Regardless of any actual past or present practice of spatial mobility, we explore the individuals' propensity on the idea of moving away from their life-context.

Thanks to a wide multi-functional Italian survey designed and conducted by Professor A. Marradi - which counts more than 4,000 respondents - we have been able to develop an index to measure this individual perspective, namely “Propensity Index for Spatial Mobility”.

For the study, we have employed robust quantitative techniques to investigate the influence of socio-demographic factors alongside other relational, educational, cultural, and geographical features.

Our results are partially aligned with what affirmed by the most influential research paths on spatial mobility. However, our results also indicate that some of the traits usually connected with high levels of spatial mobility are actually related to lower scores on the Propensity Index for Spatial Mobility.

We conclude suggesting that the actual experience of spatial mobility is not always directly correlated with the individual propensity to move. This is the case, for examples, of people with high levels of education.

In our vision, the index we propose could become a useful tool for researchers to investigate spatial mobility. Indeed, by taking into account the individual dimension of propensity, we could be able to explore its role in successful (or not) experiences of mobility.

Migration, Commuting, or a Second Home? Insights From a Vignette Experiment

Knut Petzold

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

In the last decades, more complex and circular types of residential mobility arose while one-way relocations declined. Existing studies that address migration and commuting as being substitutes often suffer from problems of endogeneity or face lacking data about decision-making on different types of residential mobility. By contrast, I investigate decision-making on migration, commuting, and establishing a secondary home by using a factorial survey experiment, which allows accounting for both endogeneity bias through randomisation and complexity in decision-making through variation of numerous competing factors. Hypothetical job offers were presented to a sample of academic staff of a Swiss university in order to examine the relations of the intended types of residential mobility and their drivers. I argue that the more competing relevant factors are the more becomes establishing a second home an alternative as it can compensate for unilateral costs of both one-way migration and daily commuting. Analysis shows that the migration intention is mainly caused by migration costs and the commuting intention is mainly caused by transition costs. Establishing a second home is indeed the more intended the more costs compete and the less migration nor commuting are clearly preferred. Hence, intentions for migration and commuting are in a linear negative relationship but stand in an inverted U-shaped relation to the intention for a second home. In sum, circular types of mobility can be understood as being substituting for one-way relocations, but substitution must be considered imperfect due to the still remaining mobility costs and its discontinuous nature.