Special Open-access Journal Articles

The Sociological Review articles on

Europeanisation, Mobilities and Migrations

Thanks to the generosity of The Sociological Review, a number of important articles relating to the theme of this seminar have been made freely available open access until the end of July 2016.  We invite everyone to enjoy these very interesting papers:

Migration and the search for a better way of life: a critical exploration of lifestyle migration

For the past few years, the term ‘lifestyle migration’ has been used to refer to an increasing number of people who take the decision to migrate based on their belief that there is a more fulfilling way of life available to them elsewhere. Lifestyle migration is thus a growing, disparate phenomenon, with important but little understood implications for both societies and individuals. This article outlines and explores in detail a series of mobilities that have in common relative affluence and this search for a better lifestyle. We attempt to define the limits of the term lifestyle migration, the characteristics of the lifestyle sought, and the place of this form of migration in the contemporary world. In this manner, we map the various migrations that can be considered under this broad rubric, recognising the similarities and differences in their migration trajectories. Further to this, drawing on the sociological literature on lifestyle, we provide an initial theoretical conceptualisation of this phenomenon, attempting to explain its recent escalation in various guises, and investigating the historical, sociological, and individualised conditions that inspire this migration. This article is thus the first step in defining a broader programme for the study of lifestyle migration. We contend that the study of this migration is especially important in the current era given the impact such moves have on places and people at both ends of the migratory chain.


Citizenship and human rights —particular and universal worlds and the prospects for European citizenship

This chapter makes the argument that the concept of universal citizenship rights based on human need is compatible with a recognition that particularistic identity (eg specific nationalities) exist. Following Habermas, Jary makes the case that diversity is essential to the discourse of human culture. In the first part of the paper, Jary discusses the work of Feyerabend, Habermas, Turner, Doyal and Gough in order to establish the position that universal rights preserve the conditions for cultural diversification and autonomous action while also enabling a search for social solidarity and integration between different groups. In the second part of the chapter, on the historically substantive prospects for European Union citizenship, Jary draws on Habermas, Held, Linklater and others to show that an inclusionary, cosmopolitan emancipatory citizenship may develop within a post-national civil state.


The Danube and ways of imagining Europe

This paper is concerned with the River Danube as a European object that articulates forms of relations which, by linking human and non-humans in highly specific ways, create actor-networks that dispute common societal divisions and (b)orders. By discussing the contested social relevance of the River Danube, this paper visualizes different ways of imagining Europe. Following some of the controversies concerning the River Danube, we outline a process oriented, transnational research agenda for a specific European object with the conceptual explication of human and non-human relations at its core.


Support for far right ideology and anti-migrant attitudes among youth in Europe: A comparative analysis

The last decade has seen a notable increase in support for far right parties and an alarming rise of right-wing extremism across Europe. Drawing on a new comparative youth survey in 14 European countries, this article provides deeper insight into young people’s support for nationalist and far right ideology: negative attitudes towards minorities, xenophobia, welfare chauvinism and exclusionism in relation to migrants. We first map the support for far right ideology among youth in Europe, and then use multilevel regression analysis (16,935 individuals nested in 30 locations) to investigate which individual or contextual factors are associated with a higher propensity among young people towards getting involved in far right movements.


Making Europe — processes of Europe – formation since 1945

Dennis Smith argues that the development of the European polity that has become the European Union has been shaped by social processes similar in many respects to those analysed by Norbert Elias in The Court Society and The Civilizing Process. However, these processes have occurred at the supra-state level whereas Elias described them as they occurred at the level of the developing national state, especially during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During the 1940s and 1950s the United States played a key role in pacifying the European nations and imposing a framework of rules for the conduct of their economic and diplomatic affairs. States in western Europe were increasingly locked into tight bonds of interdependence. This movement towards integration was complemented by the disembedding of regions and large businesses from their close ties to the national state; they became ‘Europeanised’. Brussels became Europe’s Versailles, a place where the courtier’s skills were employed by the lobbyist. It is suggested that just as France represented, in Elias’s eyes, a vanguard society within Europe in respect of the civilising process at the level of the national society, the European Union may play such a role globally in respect of developments at the supra-state level.


National pride and the meaning of ‘Europe’: a comparative study of Britain and Spain

In this chapter, Pablo Jáuregui questions the idea that the development of the European Union means Europe is entering a ‘post-nationalist’ era. He suggests that nationalism and Europeanism are not necessarily opposed to each other or mutually incompatible. Taking the two cases of Spain and Britain, Jáuregui argues that their specific national self-images and feelings of collective pride have influenced the particular discourses on Europe in those two countries. Drawing in part on the ideas of Norbert Elias, this chapter examines the political rhetoric employed to legitimate or contest the idea of ‘going into Europe’ in Spain and Britain, paying particular attention to the different ways this decision impacted upon perceptions of national status and sentiments of collective self-esteem. In Britain, the idea of going into Europe was associated with a decline in national status and the ‘loss of world power’. In contrast, for Spain entering Europe meant a considerable enhancement of national prestige following the collapse of a ‘backwards dictatorship’.


Landscape, imagination and experience: processes of emplacement among the British in rural France

This paper traces the process by which the British residents of the Lot, a department in rural France, develop a deeper understanding of their new surroundings. While their initial perceptions of the landscape as providing a beautiful view and a backdrop to their everyday lives prompted their migration, once they are living in the French countryside these perceptions subtly change in response to their experiences of life there. As I argue, it is not simply the case that their initial impressions are replaced with the knowledge gained from their embodied experiences. Indeed, it becomes clear that their idealizations of rural living continue to frame, partially, their understandings of how really to live in rural France; through valorization and imitation of the lives and practices of their French neighbours my respondents lay claim to local belonging. The paper thus demonstrates the ways that imaginings and experience coalesce in the production of a continually renewed understanding of their new location.


Ethnographic returning, qualitative longitudinal research and the reflexive analysis of social practice

This paper makes the argument that ethnographic returning, in which ethnographers return to their field over time, and which is an engaged and long-term ethnography, can be considered a form of longitudinal qualitative study that can inform a reflexive analysis of the practice, or unfolding, of social life. Longitudinal qualitative studies have been designed as longitudinal at the outset and therefore have a specific focus on temporality, processes and social change. They often have an implicit theory of social change informing the analyses. Re-studies revisit the field site or community, and update or challenge the work of earlier researchers. These also tend to focus on change, if not so much on processes or time. Though their work is rarely labelled longitudinal, it is also quite common for ethnographers to return to the field and their (changing) communities over time, and here some focus on change is also inevitable. I call this ethnographic returning. All such temporal approaches require a constructive and positive approach to reflexivity, in which research is enhanced by acknowledgement that the social world, the academic world and the personal world of the researcher are intermingled and co-created through the ongoing process of social life. But, more than this, reflexivity needs to be relocated within a theory of the reflexive nature of social life (a theory of practice). I illustrate, through my own work, and drawing on the wider field of study on British migration to Spain, the contribution that participant observation and ethnographic returning can make to this endeavour.


Between mobility and mobilization – lifestyle migration and the practice of European identity in political struggles

Lifestyle migration, such as the temporary or permanent movement of European citizens to coastal areas in Southern Europe, widely responds to the freedom of movement that EU citizenship provides to all its members. Although this migration can be evaluated as an individual and rather apolitical expression of a politically intended mobility within the European Union, it may seriously alter political life within destinations. The following article presents a case study about the political mobilization of lifestyle migrants living on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. It is based on empirical research and explores narrative interviews with members of a transnationally active political pressure group that campaigns against misapplications of local and regional land use policies. The central aim of the text consists of evaluating how central actors draw on European identity within conflict negotiations that traverse diverse scales including the European level. Referring to this, the article engages with key issues in contemporary sociological debates addressed in this monograph, namely the question of how sociologists approach the study of the political in general and how imaginations of Europe and European identity are strategically appropriated within political debates.


Family Matters: (e)migration, familial networks and Irish women in Britain

The recent increase in transnational migration among women has lead to a reappraisal of theoretical explanations of migratory movement (Castles and Miller, 2003Fortier, 2000Zulauf, 2001). This paper reviews a number of theoretical explanations of transnational migration and then applies these theories to a qualitative study of women who migrated from Ireland to Britain in the 1930s. I explore the women’s reasons for leaving Ireland and their experiences as young economic migrants in Britain in the inter-war years. Women have made up the majority of Irish migrants to Britain for much of the twentieth century yet the dominant stereotype of the Irish migrant has been the Mick or Paddy image (Walter, 2001). Through an analysis of these twelve women’s narratives of migration, I explore themes such as household strategies and familial networks. I am interested in the interwoven explanations of migration as both a form of escape (O’Carroll, 1990) and a rational family strategy and, hence, the ways in which women’s decision to migrate can be seen as a combination of both active agency and family obligation. Drawing on the work of Phizacklea (1999) as well as Walter (2001) and Gray (19961997), I will analyse the ways in which family connections may transcend migration and engage with the concept of ‘transnational family’ (Chamberlain, 1995). In so doing, I raise questions about the complex nature of migration and the extent to which it could be described in terms of empowerment.


Toward a critical sociology of lifestyle migration: reconceptualizing migration and the search for a better way of life

This article places under critical and reflexive examination the theoretical underpinnings of the concept of lifestyle migration. Developed to explain the migration of the relatively affluent in search of a better way of life, this concept draws attention to the role of lifestyle within migration, alongside understandings of migration as one stage within the ongoing lifestyle choices and trajectories of individual migrants. Through a focus on two paradigms that are currently at work within theorizations of this social phenomenon – individualization and mobilities – we evaluate their contribution to this flourishing field of research. In this way, we demonstrate the limitations and constraints of these for understanding lifestyle migration; engaging with long-standing debates around structure and agency to make a case for the recognition of history in understanding the pursuit of ‘a better way of life’; questioning the extent to which meaning is made through movement, and the politics and ethics of replacing migration with mobilities. Through this systematic consideration, we pave the way for re-invigorated theorizing on this topic, and the development of a critical sociology of lifestyle migration.


ESRC Centre for Population Change briefing papers and articles on New Mobilities and Migration

Should I stay or should I go? Strategies of EU citizens living in the UK in the context of the EU referendum

What might EU migrants in the UK do in order to cope if the UK leaves the EU? Might they stay or go? Using data from an online survey we find out what the three largest EU nationality groups (Portuguese, Polish and Romanian) in the UK have to say. These three groups represent three different EU enlargement waves, with Portugal having joined the European Union in 1986, Poland in 2004 and Romania in 2007.


Expense turns to investment: How the welfare state supports EU migrants’ economic achievements

Welfare support for European Union migrants to the UK has often been presented as a “burden”. However, evidence that migrants are strongly work-focussed suggests greater attention should be given to the welfare state’s social investment role. This briefing investigates the degree to which the UK’s welfare state helps EU migrants enhance their economic activity. How have policy changes post-2014 affected this situation? What would happen if the UK left the EU?


Who are EU migrants in England and Wales?

Who are EU migrants living in England and Wales? Should the UK decide to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum, the impact of social policies on the rights and responsibilities of non-UK European nationals living in the UK could be significant and will vary according to age, employment and family circumstances. This paper sheds light on the characteristics of migrants and informs the discussion of the economic and social policy implications of the referendum decision.