Re-thinking residential mobility: Linking lives through time and space.

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Coulter, Rory 
van Ham, Maarten 
Findlay, Allan M 

While researchers are increasingly re-conceptualizing international migration, far less attention has been devoted to re-thinking short-distance residential mobility and immobility. In this paper we harness the life course approach to propose a new conceptual framework for residential mobility research. We contend that residential mobility and immobility should be re-conceptualized as relational practices that link lives through time and space while connecting people to structural conditions. Re-thinking and re-assessing residential mobility by exploiting new developments in longitudinal analysis will allow geographers to understand, critique and address pressing societal challenges.


This is the final version of the article. It first appeared from SAGE via

life course, linked lives, population geography, practice, relationality, residential mobility
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Prog Hum Geogr
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SAGE Publications
Rory Coulter’s work on this paper was partly supported by an Economic and Social Research Council grant [ES/L009498/1]. Maarten van Ham’s contribution was supported by funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n. 615159 (ERC Consolidator Grant DEPRIVEDHOODS, Socio-spatial inequality, deprived neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood effects); and from the Marie Curie programme under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / Career Integration Grant no. PCIG10-GA-2011-303728 (CIG Grant NBHCHOICE, Neighbourhood choice, neighbourhood sorting, and neighbourhood effects). Allan Findlay’s work was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council grant [ES/K007394/1].