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Lifestyle Migration Hub

New Books by Members of the Hub


Practising the Gooa Life. Lifestyle Migration in Practices by Kate Torkington, Inês David and João Sardinha (eds.).

This edited collection adds to the growing body of research on lifestyle migration with empirically grounded explorations focusing on a wide range of practices involved in living ‘the good life’. The volume brings together a variety of socio-geographical contexts – from Swedish ‘lifestyle movers’ in Malta, retired Britons and Germans in Spain, and seekers of the ‘rural idyll’ in the Iberian Peninsula, to expats in Nepal, North Americans in Ecuador and ‘utopian’ lifestyle migrants in Patagonia – to provide a broad spectrum of studies that provide insights into how the practices of lifestyle migration are (re-)produced and performed. Adopting a variety of methodological approaches, the contributions also reflect the interdisciplinary nature of current research into migration, with groundings in sociology, anthropology, human geography, cultural studies and linguistics.

For the table of contents, click here. For more information on this title, click here.

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Global Amenity Migration: Transforming Rural Culture, Economy and Landscape by Laurence A.G. Moss and Romella S. Glorioso (eds.).

In Global Amenity Migration, 34 scholars and practitioners examine the increasing movement of people to “rural” places rich in natural and cultural amenities seeking to improve their quality of life. Socio-cultural, environmental and economic opportunities and issues brought by this powerful change agent are identified and explained, as well as stakeholdersʼ responses. Important findings are provided about the larger patterns of amenity-led change and development, along with specific analyses of a selection of high-amenity places in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Strategic recommendations are also proposed for planning and managing this in-migration and its effects. Public and private researchers, decision-makers, planners, and managers will find Global Amenity Migration of significant theoretical and practical value. The book will also be of considerable interest to rural residents, or those considering moving to our rapidly transitioning rural small towns and surrounding countryside, at home or abroad.

For more information on this title, click here.


Opting for Elsewhere: Lifestyle Migration in the American Middle Class by Brian A. Hoey.

"Do you get told what the good life is, or do you figure it out for yourself?" This is the central question of Opting for Elsewhere, as the reader encounters stories of people who chose relocation as a way of redefining themselves and reordering work, family, and personal priorities. This is a book about the impulse to start over. Whether downshifting from stressful careers or being downsized from jobs lost in a surge of economic restructuring, lifestyle migrants seek refuge in places that seem to resonate with an idealized, potential self. Choosing the "option of elsewhere" and moving as a means of remaking self through sheer force of will are basic facets of American character, forged in its history as a developing nation of immigrants with a seemingly ever-expanding frontier. Building off years of interviews and research in the Midwest, including areas of Michigan, Brian Hoey provides an evocative illustration of the ways these sweeping changes impact people and the communities where they live and work as well as how both react--devising strategies for either coping with or challenging the status quo. This portrait of starting over in the heartland of America compels the reader to ask where we are going next as an emerging postindustrial society.

 For more information on this title, click here. 


Understanding Lifestyle Migration. Theoretical Approaches to Migration and the Quest for a Better Way of Life by Michaela Benson & Nick Osbaldiston (eds.)

Understanding Lifestyle Migration is an attempt to provide theoretical commentary on lifestyle migration itself. While there has been much literature on the subject, this has been mostly applied seeking to provide detailed ethnographic accounts that provide some links back to social theory. What we seek to do in this collection is bring together a host of lifestyle migration scholars to begin and continue a debate on how we are best to understand the movement. We set this tone in our very first chapter arguing that in the Future Directions of lifestyle migration literature there needs to be a more nuanced account of its beginnings and most importantly, reflections that are not too heavily skewed towards theories of individualism. The arguments contained in the book seek to develop this further by arguing that privilege, status, cultural conditions and other forms of hard and soft structures inevitably play a role in the motivation and lived experience of lifestyle migration. Contained in this volume are also more nuanced discussions using different forms of theoretical lens such as counter-urbanisation, classical social theory and mobilities. The point of the volume is certainly not to settle the debate on how best to make sense of this phenomenon. Rather it is to begin to open these back up pushing beyond the easy ready made explanations to dig deeper into the phenomenon's cultural, historical and contemporary manifestations and thus provide a more holistic account of what is a phenomenon that is growing in importance.

For more information on this title, click here.


Contested Spatialities, Lifestyle Migration and Residential Tourism by Michael Janoschka & Heiko Haas (eds.)

The book is an exciting compilation of essays focusing on the topic of lifestyle migration and its impacts in various destinations worldwide which have not been covered extensively in the corresponding research so far like, for example, Finland, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia, Chile and Morocco, to name just a few. By uniting contributions from Geographers, Anthropologists, Political Scientists and Sociologists (many of them Hub members) rooted in different research methodologies and approaches – from second-home tourism and amenity migration to lifestyle migration and residential tourism – the book represents the various existing research traditions in lifestyle and leisure oriented mobilities. A particular focus is put on the more problematic and conflictive dimensions in lifestyle migrations such as gender, territorial dispossession, linguistic power, economic circumstances, marginality and social exclusion, while another section of the book is concerned with conceptual issues.

For more information on this title, click here


Nordic Seniors on the Move. Mobility and Migration in Later Life by Anne Leonora Blaakilde & Gabriella Nilsson.

This anthology is about seniors on the move. In seven chapters, Nordic researchers from various disciplines, by means of ethnographic methods, attempt to comprehend the phenomenon of Nordic seniors who move to leisure areas in their own or in other countries.
It is argued in this book that the fact that more people live longer, with better health, leads to a multiplicity of ways of growing old. As a result of this, paradoxes and polarities might arise; seniors cope with their lives all along the scale between fit and frail, weak and wealthy, poor and powerful, conservative, dynamic and unpredictable. This is valid for the Nordic seniors on the move as well. Moving may entail great economic dilemmas and challenges for individuals, social networks, and nation states. As shown here, mobility and migration have implications for identities, traditions, feelings of belonging, family relationships and friendships, health, images of old age, societal planning and policies, and even for religious attachment.
This book contributes to the international body of literature about later life migration, while representing experiences from a Nordic perspective. The book is finalised by a chapter including an international perspective of retirement migration by the architect Deane Simpson, who has studied and worked with gerotopias around the world.

Full text download: click here.


Neoliberal Governance and International Medical Travel in Malaysia by Meghann Ormond.

International medical travel (IMT), people crossing national borders in the pursuit of healthcare, has become a growing phenomenon. With many of the countries currently being promoted as IMT destinations located in the ‘developing’ world, IMT poses a significant challenge to popular assumptions about who provides and receives care since it inverses and diversifies presumed directionalities of care.

This book analyses the development of international medical travel in Malaysia, by looking at the benefits and challenges of providing health care to non-Malaysians. It challenges embedded assumptions about the sources, directions and political value of care. The author situates the Malaysian case study material at the fruitful cross-section of a range of literatures on transnational mobility, hospitality, therapeutic landscapes and medical diplomacy to examine their roles in the construction of national identity. The book thus contributes to wider debates that have emerged around the changing character of global health governance, and is of use to students and scholars of Southeast Asian Studies as well as Politics and Health and Social Care.

For more information on this title click here.


International Migration & Social Theory by Karen O'Reilly.

In this book, Karen O'Reilly introduces the key theories and concepts that have been used to understand migration, and she examines how they have been used to explain various different migrations around the world.  The book then draws on structuration and practice theories to tell practice stories about: British Migration to Spain; Mexican Labour Migration to the US; Filipina Domestic Labour Migration to Hong Kong; and Refugee Children in the UK.

For more information on this title click here.


Migration im Alter: Lebenswelt, Identität und Kultur deutscher Ruhesitzwanderer in Spanien by Melanie Hühn,

For more and more German retirees, migration with age constitutes a welcome opportunity to make their retirement years as active and independent as possible. Because of its climate, Spain is one of the most popular destinations for such migrants.

Several thousand German retirees have found a new place of residence in the municipality of Torrox in Andalusia. In this extraordinary place, the lifeworld of the retreat migrants has been studied with ethnographic methods. Here it can be shown that most of the retirees are not classical migrants who emigrate to a certain place; instead, they are part of a group of multi-local people that create a home in two places – one of them in Germany and one of them in Spain. This special migration is subject to particular motivations; it accomplishes specific functions; and it produces strategies that enable everyday life in several places. In this book, the concept of ›Successful Ageing‹ is shown to characterise their lifestyle and trans-culturalise the lifeworld of the German retirees in an intriguing way.

For German introduction click here.


Seeking authenticity in Place, Culture and the Self. The Great urban Escape by Nick Osbaldiston.

This book explores the lifestyle migration movement known as 'seachange' in Australia. Using a Durkheimian framework developed by Yale Cultural Sociologist Phil Smith, I explore the driving motivations and narratives which attract lifestyle migrants to places of high environmental and cultural amenity. Through this platform, I set up the narratives that are embedded in these places which impact on people's sense of self. However, it is clear that while there are environmental degradation issues, these founding narratives which attract people are ironically being challenged by in-migration period. The book promotes the question of authenticity as an underpinning concept for lifestyle migration and is published within the Palgrave Macmillan series on Cultural Sociology

'In this pioneering book, Osbaldiston sheds light on the cultural phenomenon of seachange, the migration of urbanites in search of meaning. Through the lens of cultural sociology, he presents a compelling and theoretically rigorous argument for how the construction of authentic places by planners, promoters, and seachangers is thoroughly and inextricably entangled with a sense of the authentic self. The result is unmatched, with Osbaldiston narrative a nuanced and thoroughly engaging account of the impact of seachange on places and on individuals' Michaela Benson - author of the British in Rural France.

For more information on this title click here.

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La transmigración placentera. Movilidad de Estadounidenses a México.  Omar Lizárraga Morales (2012).

In this book, we describe and compare the American residential mobility in two of the main destinations in northwest of Mexico: Mazatlan, Sinaloa and Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. In this study, we analyzed their transnational practices and social networks as well as the current status of this migration and its foreseeable future. The study also discusses the socio-economic and environmental impacts generated in these two places.

Full text to download: click here.

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Construirunanuevavida. Los espacios del turismo y la migraciónresidencial, edited by Tomás Mazón, Raquel Huete and Alejandro Mantecón (2011).

This book analyses process of building the places where some people try to reorient their life trajectories-temporal or permanently, to the pursuit of personal fulfilment and the conquest of a better life, leaving in the background the activities of the productive sector.The reader is invited to delve into these realities through a selection of studies in Canada, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, Thailand, Turkey, Spain and Morocco.

Full text to download:

cover joaquin rodes

This book is authored by Hub member Joaquin Rodes.

This study examines North European retirees who own property on the Mediterranean coast (Region of Murcia, Spain). The book focuses on how these senior European citizens are living and residing "here and there". Readers will find a description of the migrant group in question and an illustration of their perspectives and practices "beyond migration and tourism."

For more information on this title click here.



The British in rural France

This book is authored by Hub member Michaela Benson.

Drawing on my research among the British residents of the Lot, a rural department in southwest France, my book explores the role that the quest for a better way of life plays in the lives of these lifestyle migrants, from the decision to migrate through to their actions and rhetoric about life following migration. While previous studies (Buller and Hoggart 1994; Barou and Prado 1995) stressed the historical and cultural context behind migration, I emphasize how this impacts not only on expectations for life following migration but also on the lived experiences of life in the Lot. The insights into the migrants’ lives reveal not only how the migrants live in the Lot, but how they project their ideas about themselves through their everyday practices and their uncertainty about their position within the local communities that they desire to become a part of. It appears that it is not only that their migration emerges out a middle-class desire for rural living, transposed from rural Britain onto rural France (Buller and Hoggart 1994), but it is also the case that experiences of life in rural France, and indeed, the migrants’ actions within the destination are framed and shaped by middle-class value systems and practices. In this rendering, the continuing quest for a better way is a way in which the migrants lay claim to the distinctiveness of their lives, thus revealing the pervading influence of their (British) middle class status.

'This wonderfully evocative ethnography is a detailed, scholarly, important, and timely contribution to migration studies, as well as to interdisciplinary debates around landscape, culture, class, and the imagination. The British in France are statistically difficult to locate, but Benson renders their lives visible through the use of imagery, employing intricate details and rich descriptions to create a sensory experience for the reader.' Karen O'Reilly, Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University

For more information on this title click here.

Omar Morales

This title was co-edited by Hub member Omar Lizárraga Morales; contains a sole-authored chapter on the North American Population living in Mazatlán, Mexico.


Lifestyle Migration

Co-edited by hub members Michaela Benson and Karen O’Reilly, this is the first edited collection on Lifestyle Migration. In addition to an introduction that presents an analytical and conceptual framework for understanding this social phenomenon, the volume contains contributions from Mari Korpela, Brian Hoey, Catherine Trundle, Per Gustafson, Maria Casado Diaz, Karen O’Reilly, Michaela Benson, Ozlem Nudrali and Jacqueline Waldren.

More information – including a free extract to download – on this title is available here.

Rsedential tourism

This book about residential tourism development in Boquete, Panama, was authored by hub member Mason McWatters. It provides an insight into the ways that both residential tourist incomers and local social actors conceive of their environment and calls for a renewed emphasis on how these developments are experienced on a local level.

For more information on this title click here.

The Nomads of Mykonos

This performative ethnography tells the story of a mythic 70s group who became habituated to the island of Mykonos. Their story is largely re-constructed by their ethnographer through narrative. Hub Member, Pola Bousiou produces an almost fictional descriptive ethnography of the now famous cosmopolitan island which practically lives on its marginal space myth.

For more information on this title click here.

More Vibes in India

More Vibes in India, by Mari Korpela
This ethnographic study examines Westerners who annually visit Varanasi in northern India, staying for periods of up to six months. They explain this lifestyle choice by contrasting their lives in India with their imaginings of life in the Western world. The research elaborates on the vibrations that they experience in India, and how the pursuit of a particular better and different life becomes a lived, everyday practice among the Westerners of Varanasi.

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