Mobilities of Youth: social and spatial trajectories in a segregated Sweden

May. 21, 2010

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 9 Number 2, (2010). p. 192-207.

This paper examines youth mobilities in three geographic and socio-economically diverse Swedish contexts.

The concept of mobility has become an important feature of individualistic discourses of responsibility relating to inclusion, lifelong learning and self-regulating entrepreneurial behaviour. This article draws attention to the fact that geographical mobility, as a form of human agency, is closely related to social mobility and hence to both spatial and social inequalities.

Using life-history interviews and statistical data, the article examines how space, class and ethnicity are related to education and social inclusion and exclusion as young people are spatially situated yet move, desire to move, dream about moving, seek to move and fail to move, as they migrate through, in and out of social communities.

The analysis displays how these mobilities are framed by local traditions and circumstances that both enable and restrict. Such mobility might involve processes of personal development and learning, and be the calculated consequence of each individual’s chosen life-career.
However, mobility might also arise as flight from a stigmatised place. In these cases, refusal to move can also be seen as a form of resistance.

Updated: Oct. 29, 2010