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Mobility, flexible lifestyles and cosmopolitanism: EU postgraduates in Manchester

Kennedy, Paul (2010) Mobility, flexible lifestyles and cosmopolitanism: EU postgraduates in Manchester. Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 36 (3). pp. 465-482. ISSN 1469-9451

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Abstract

Some commentators on globalisation and migration have suggested that a growing number of young, educated individuals regard moving overseas as a vehicle for pursing their project of self-realisation, whether imagined in terms of promoting careers or of the search for adventure and cultural variety or both. Drawing on the experiences of skilled migrants from EU countries living in Manchester, the paper examines the motives which induced them to migrate and suggests that economic constraints were often equally as or more significant in propelling them overseas and in influencing their choice of destination than their personal preferences. The paper then argues that their actual experiences abroad became much more significant to their life trajectories than earlier decisions. Most were propelled towards cosmopolitanism and greater world openness because of their exposure to, and involvement in, post-national relationships and intercultural encounters. Although these tended to push them even further away from their original national origins, thereby creating more scope for re-constructing a chosen life path, they also left them more exposed to, and dependent upon, these new relationships and cosmopolitan influences.

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