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The Best of Both Worlds: Aspirations, Drivers and Practices of Swedish Lifestyle Movers in Malta
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It has often been claimed that contemporary societies are shaped by globalization; the rapid interconnections of societies, economies, markets, flows and information potentially linking all places in the world to each other. In search for experiences, variation, escape or comfort, individuals are travelling, circulating, and migrating between places, challenging the notions of ‘home’ and ‘away’, ‘everyday’ and ‘extraordinary’. This thesis addresses the ways lifestyle-led mobilities are produced and performed, by studying the mobility trajectories and experiences of Swedes dividing their time seasonally between Sweden and Malta. It explores how movers are faced with a structural framework that both facilitates and directs their choices concerning mobility, and how they interpret and respond to these structures. It also explores the imaginaries, meanings, and feelings for place, identity, and lifestyle that the movers negotiate through their mobility practices and through the links they create and sustain in places. Thus, this thesis is situated in an evolving field of research on lifestyle mobilities. Lifestyle mobilities are here defined as those mobility practices undertaken by individuals based on their freedom of choice, of a temporal or more permanent duration, with or without any significant ‘home base(s)’, that are primarily driven by aspirations to increase ‘quality of life’, and that are primarily related to the individuals’ lifestyle values.

The thesis is based on four individual papers exploring different aspects lifestyle mobility. The aim is to understand how production and performance aspects of lifestyle mobilities are related, and how notions of identity and belonging are negotiated in relation to lifestyle mobility practices. The production aspect relates to those structures and frameworks that create, facilitate, or sometimes delimit opportunities for lifestyle mobility while the performance aspect focuses on individual agency and meaning of lifestyle mobility practices. The studies are based on in-depth interviews with Swedish movers in Malta, and focus on how structural frameworks and mediations influence the ways that movers manoeuvre, manipulate or adapt to structures and influences in order to arrange their life context to achieve ‘quality of life’. A second aim focuses on the ways that movers reflect upon their identities and belongings as they travel routinely between two (or more) significant places, and how this may influence mobility practices. It is concluded that structures and mediations are both facilitating and delimiting movers’ space of choice regarding mobility decisions. Through their agency, movers negotiate their space of choice by allocating resources and experience, accessing supportive networks and tailoring their access to entitlements. The production and performance aspects of lifestyle mobility practices are interlinked in complex ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 69 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2013:2
Keyword [en]
lifestyle mobilities, multiple dwelling, lifestyle management, transnationalism, place imaginaries, identity and belonging
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82972ISBN: 978-91-7459-766-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-82972DiVA: diva2:664246
Public defence
2013-12-06, KB 3B1, KBC-Huset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-14 Last updated: 2013-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Selling a place in the sun: International property mediation as production of lifestyle mobility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Selling a place in the sun: International property mediation as production of lifestyle mobility
2012 (English)In: Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, ISSN 1303-2917, E-ISSN 1300-4220, Vol. 23, no 2, 251-267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Buying property abroad is not a new phenomenon, but academic research into the complexities of international property mediation is underdeveloped. This paper adopts a wide perspective on lifestyle-driven mobilities, including the semi-permanent relocation of Swedes to warmer destinations in the Mediterranean and other regions, and explores the functions of international property mediation. On the basis of data gathered from interviews with property agents, the objectives are to describe the organization of the international property sector, to understand the mediating roles of property agents, and position property mediation as production of lifestyle mobility. Property agents are understood to play a crucial role as intermediaries, influencing the client's decisions by combining instrumental, interactionary, communicative, and social functions of mediation. Because of their superior expertise on property transaction procedures and regulations, area characteristics and contact networks, agents may influence clients' decisions; however this also depends on their skills in interpreting client expectations and experiences, and the ability of the client to manage the process themselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2012
Keyword
lifestyle mobility; multiple dwelling; property mediation; international migration; intermediaries
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63984 (URN)10.1080/13032917.2012.687691 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Buying a Place Abroad: Processes of Recreational Property Acquisition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Buying a Place Abroad: Processes of Recreational Property Acquisition
2013 (English)In: Housing Studies, ISSN 0267-3037, E-ISSN 1466-1810, Vol. 28, no 4, 632-652 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the search for the good life,' moving to warmer destinations is a growing trend among affluent individuals from the northern parts of Europe and North America. Induced by quality-of-life drivers, property acquisition is an integral part of this search. Property acquisition behavior has earlier been conceptualized in various models of consumer behavior; however, these models are not sophisticated enough to explain the multiple drivers and complexity of lifestyle- and leisure-led acquisitions, especially if they are international in scope. In this paper, the process of recreational property acquisition is explored, based on thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with Swedes in Malta. Acquisition is found to be influenced by both internal drivers and motives, and external factors that are highly contextualized. This study explains the importance of the contextual frameworks and external influences on decision-making, and conceptualizes the process of international recreational property acquisition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013
Keyword
lifestyle mobility, leisure-led property acquisition, acquisition model, cross-border context, Swedes, Malta
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-78443 (URN)10.1080/02673037.2013.773584 (DOI)000320359600006 ()
Available from: 2013-07-23 Created: 2013-07-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Strategic lifestyle management in later life: Swedish lifestyle movers in Malta seeking the 'best of both worlds'
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic lifestyle management in later life: Swedish lifestyle movers in Malta seeking the 'best of both worlds'
2017 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8444, E-ISSN 1544-8452, Vol. 23, no 1, e1964Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In affluent societies, an active choice of lifestyle is increasingly becoming an option. With increased possibilities for mobility, opportunities to lead a good life can be accessed across global space. However, lifestyle management is largely directed and constrained by structural frameworks, and movers have to allocate resources and experience in order to manoeuvre structures and make optimal lifestyle choices. This paper explores how residential mobility may be used as a resource to gain access to opportunities. Based on thematic analysis of in-depth interviews, this is performed by exploring the experiences of Swedish lifestyle movers in Malta, in their tailoring of mobility practices that allow them to enjoy opportunities for the good life in both countries. The research questions that have guided this study are as follows: (a) What does the good life comprise? (b) How are structural frameworks surrounding opportunities for lifestyle management perceived by movers? and (c) In what ways do movers actively tailor their mobility practices to achieve the good life? The results show that movers are highly engaged in tailoring their access to opportunities through place fixity, such as permanent residency and social integration, and through routinised and timed mobility practices.

Keyword
lifestyle mobilities, multiple dwelling, retirement mobility, lifestyle management, Swedes in Malta
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82970 (URN)10.1002/psp.1964 (DOI)000396379300003 ()
Note

Originally published in thesis in manuscript form.

Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2013-11-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Stories of lifestyle mobility: representing self and place in the search for the 'good life'
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stories of lifestyle mobility: representing self and place in the search for the 'good life'
2015 (English)In: Social & cultural geography (Print), ISSN 1464-9365, E-ISSN 1470-1197, Vol. 16, no 3, 351-370 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, mobility researchers have paid increasing attention to the flows of relatively privileged individuals whose mobility practices are largely understood to be lifestyle-motivated, consumption-led and tourism-induced (e.g. Benson, M., & O'Reilly, K. (Eds.). (2009). Lifestyle migration: Expectations, aspirations and experiences. Surrey: Ashgate; King, R., Warnes, A. M., & Williams, A. M. (2000). Sunset lives: British retirement migration to the Mediterranean. Oxford: Berg). Situated within the context of lifestyle mobilities, this paper aims to analyse the significance of place and representations of place in the movers' stories of mobility. The mobility experiences of Swedish retirees practicing routinised and seasonal mobility between Sweden and Malta have been analysed, and this paper explores how they actively give meaning to their choices and decisions. In their narratives, the movers express their representations of themselves in relation not only to their imaginings of places and to their belongings to and engagements with these places, but also to their mobility practices. The findings contribute to a discussion of how place imaginaries and self-identities are constructed through lifestyle mobility practices.

Keyword
lifestyle mobilities, multiple dwelling, place attachment, narrative, identity, representations of place
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82971 (URN)10.1080/14649365.2014.987806 (DOI)000349786000006 ()
Note

Originally published in manuscript form with the title: Stories of lifestyle mobility: place, identity and the search for the 'good life'

Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2013-11-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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