Residential mobility, work and belonging in low-income communities

PREECE, Jenny (2015). Residential mobility, work and belonging in low-income communities. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

This research aims to understand how people respond to post-industrial change in places that are represented through a range of official measures and narratives as ‘declining’. Against a backdrop of pervasive policy assumptions about why people move from, or remain in, ‘declining’ places, this research explores in-depth the range of responses that people make to changing labour market contexts. It particularly seeks to understand why people remain in weaker labour market areas rather than moving to places that may offer greater employment opportunities. The case study approach focused on two areas in England: Nearthorpe,Sheffield, and Eastland, Grimsby. Stakeholders were interviewed to understand the area context and official narratives of place. The main data is drawn from indepth interviews with 18 households, comprising 25 individuals, who were interviewed twice during the research. Thematic and biographical interviewing and analysis was used. The research found that experiences of working in low-paid and insecure work reduced the impetus to residential mobility for many participants. Most people adjusted to labour market changes not through mobility but by remaining in-situ and drawing on place-based support. The extent to which networks of support were utilised to find work, provide childcare, and support those experiencing illhealth strongly suggests that immobility performed an important function. Mobility decisions did not draw on a simple cost-benefit calculation of the relative economic benefits. Participants foregrounded emotional connections to people and places, embedded experiences of work and places that guided responses to opportunities in the present, and revealed multiple motivations for (im)mobility within households. This research has demonstrated the importance of understanding how people relate to the places in which they live and the active processes of distinction that are used in order to construct a place in which they can belong and adjust in-situ to a changing labour market backdrop.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 10:48
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2017 22:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16549

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