42 / 2015
Nick Osbaldiston

A Cultural Sociological Reading of Lifestyle Migration


One of the fundamental issues in lifestyle migration is that the ideals behind it, a quest for a better way of life, are not homogenous across groups and contexts. Unlike other conceptual frameworks within migration, lifestyle migration is embedded in a cultural framing where participants draw from a variety of cultural structures to make sense of their experiences. In this paper, I examine narratives from participants in lifestyle migration in Australia. Buried in these narratives are three broad themes: anti-consumerism, nostalgia and boundary maintenance. Using a cultural sociological lens, I propose that this demonstrates the flexibility of the concept of lifestyle migration but also reflects the usefulness of cultural sociology in unpacking this phenomenon further.

KEY WORDS: cultural sociology, lifestyle migration, time, nostalgia, cultural boundaries

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