Privileged forms of mobility have not only become increasingly evident in the past few decades but they are also attracting growing attention as an area of inquiry within social sciences research across various disciplines. These mobilities are driven by the pursuit of ideals loosely and subjectively defined as leading to a better quality of life. Playing on the tensions and interactions between tourism and migration, such forms of movement and settlement are theorised as ‘lifestyle migration’, ‘amenity migration’, ‘counter-urbanisation migration’, ‘international retirement migration’ and ‘residential tourism’.
Notably, while the various ways of perceiving this type of movement and reterritorialisation signal a striking diversity concerning the various actors involved — whether expatriates, global nomads, counter-culture dropouts, highly skilled professionals or retirees — the phenomenon seems to be at once clearly identified and loosely characterised. The motivations, circumstances, life trajectories, expectations, outlooks and material conditions of individuals may vary widely, since these types of migratory projects are largely individualistic, designed on a voluntary basis and supported by sufficient resources to pursue a better quality of life. In essence, their particular relation to place(s) questions notions of ‘home’ and suggests singular ways of constructing belonging.
While much is already known about these mobilities, more systematic and textured analysis is necessary to move forward. Previous work flags directions to explore such as the specificities of destination contexts (that range from rural areas to holiday resorts and include sites of spiritual relevance); the ambivalences of dwelling between ‘local’ and ‘outsider’ categories; and the entanglements of privileged living conditions, infrastructures and policies geared to tourism and the second-home market as well as the negative impacts for local populations and their environments. In this conference, we suggest delving into these and other aspects of lifestyle oriented mobilities by taking a practice-based approach. Exploring how people, in practice, live out “the good life” implies considering how mobilities materialise in people’s everyday engagements, institutional articulations and international dynamics. Among the practices that could be considered are:
- Transnational practices — approaches drawing on a transnational lens to reflect on the particularities of the lifestyle driven mobilities at stake such as perspectives grounded in material culture; transnational families; production of locality or other aspects of transnationalism;
- Modalities of reterritorialisation — approaches focused on the symbolic investments shaping the construction of belonging(s), such as practices of solidarity and community-making at a local level; commitments to citizenship; reinforcements and reworkings of ethnicity; engagement with place through spirituality; appropriations of new settings sought by lifestyle migrants; language learning and language practices.
- The role of the senses — approaches centred on the senses and sensory based practices, including the construction of meaning through art, leisure, performance, sports in lifestyle migration contexts; the importance of landscapes and environments in the relationship with place; the production and appropriation of the domestic space.
- Mediations of lifestyle migration — approaches exploring the role of (broadcast, ‘new’ and/or ‘small’) media in the promotion and construction of lifestyle migration, such as research exploring how people resort to media for the negotiation of cultural identities in a lifestyle migration context; their relationships to “home” and the production of (local, diasporic, or other) imagined communities; the promotion of destination-images; specificities of media made by, for, with and/or about lifestyle migrants;
- Structuring practices — approaches that critically reflect on the inter-relations between Lifestyle Migration fluxes and policy making as well as economic activity, such as international retirement programs attracting migrants; real estate industry dynamics impacting on fluxes; environmental activism deriving from investments on residential tourism infrastructures; entrepreneurial activities and other modalities of work; the internationalised fluxes relating to the care giving market.
- Areas of friction — approaches exploring how the presence of conflict sheds light on the contours of lifestyle migrants lived experience (e.g. textured relations between autochthones and foreigners; tensions between the perspective of the context of settlement and the context of origin; strategies of integration; ambivalent positionings and strategies particular to second-generation lifestyle migrants, etc.)
Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) by June 1st to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will be notified of acceptance by June 15th.
Full papers are to be submitted by October 1st for circulation among participants. Please keep papers under 6000 words.
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