Reflexive Mobility

  • David CairnsEmail author
  • Marine Sargsyan


Despite its popularity as a research topic, student and graduate mobility remains relatively undertheorized, especially in regard to explaining how and why certain individuals move abroad for work and study. Acknowledging this deficit, in this chapter we continue development of a line of inquiry introduced in our prior work: the idea that mobility decision-making can be conceptualized as a reflexive process. Rather than being passive or involuntary, it is hypothesized that outward mobility involves the use of agency and social networks as practical and imaginative resources. Building on ideas introduced by previous authors (e.g. the work of Margaret Archer), we also acknowledge the importance of the ‘internal conversation’ dimension of life planning and the significance of externalized dialogues taking place in education and the workplace. Echoing Anglophone youth sociology, mobility choices are thus viewed as individualized, albeit bounded by positive and negative factors relating to obstacles and opportunities.


Armenia Mobility Reflexivity Margaret Archer 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research and Studies in SociologyISCTE-University Institute of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Roma Tre UniversityRomeItaly

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