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Imagined mobilities and the materiality of migration: the search for 'anchored lives' in post-recession Europe

Franceschelli, M; (2020) Imagined mobilities and the materiality of migration: the search for 'anchored lives' in post-recession Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1840968. (In press).

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Abstract

The dichotomy between mobility and migration became a disputed conceptual distinction during the expansion of European Free Movement between the 1990s and early 2000s. Then, mobility literature sought to open a new chapter in the study of contemporary human lives by theorising them as ‘liquid' and suggesting movement as their universalising feature. Intra-European migrants have been increasingly characterised by their ‘mobility spirit' and therefore as legally unconstrained, driven by individualised behaviours and engaged in temporary cross-border movements. Set in the backdrop of post-recession intra-European migration, this paper explores how migrants’ mobility spirit is being negotiated with the need to anchor their lives to stable relationships and to the attainment of financial security. It draws on interviews conducted with Italian young adults in London and shows how imagined projects of temporary mobility materialize into longer-term migration experiences where the search for anchored rather than liquid lives becomes more prominent. Henceforth, the analysis challenges the typified profile of EU movers by pointing at their quest for social and financial stability and by exposing their personal vulnerabilities while making the theoretical distinction between migration and mobility less relevant.

Type: Article
Title: Imagined mobilities and the materiality of migration: the search for 'anchored lives' in post-recession Europe
DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1840968
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2020.1840968
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Anchored lives, EU mobility, Italian migrants, intra-European migration, young adults
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115545
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