Between cosmopolitanism and the locals: mobility as a resource in the transition to adulthood

Thomson, R. and Taylor, R.F. 2005. Between cosmopolitanism and the locals: mobility as a resource in the transition to adulthood. Young. 13 (4), pp. 327-342.

TitleBetween cosmopolitanism and the locals: mobility as a resource in the transition to adulthood
AuthorsThomson, R. and Taylor, R.F.
Abstract

How useful is the distinction between cosmopolitans and locals in understanding the place of mobility and travel within contemporary youth transition? In this article we draw on a qualitative longitudinal study of young people in the UK, suggesting that localities have their own particular economy of mobility, operating at levels of the material, cultural and fantasy. In different localities young people are tied to the immediacy of physical and social space to differing degrees, and factors such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality and social class are significant in this. We illustrate and explore these themes through two longitudinal case histories in order to see how resources and agency are animated in practice. We conclude by arguing against the use of fixed typologies, suggesting that young people are torn between competing forces in relation to notions of home, tradition and fixedness on one hand and of mobility, escape and transformation on the other. The ways in which these tensions are negotiated at the biographical level are firmly embedded in gendered projects of self, through which young people work towards the kinds of men and women that they will be, drawing on family, community and cultural resources in the process.

(Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from Thomson, Rachel and Taylor, Rebecca (2005) Between cosmopolitanism and the locals: mobility as a resource in the transition to adulthood. 2005 Tidskriftforeningen YOUNG, SAGE Publications).

KeywordsBiography, cosmopolitan, gender, local, migration, mobility, qualitative longitudinal
JournalYoung
Journal citation13 (4), pp. 327-342
ISSN1103-3088
YearNov 2005
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1103308805057051
Publication dates
PublishedNov 2005

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