PATHS IN TRANSNATIONAL TIME-SPACE: REPRESENTING MOBILITY BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUNG SWEDES

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

This article sets out to capture and describe individual transnational mobility from a long-term, biographical perspective. The purpose is to discuss the use of a time-geographical form of notation to represent people's transnational mobility as paths in time and space, and to demonstrate how such representations can contribute to explaining some of the dynamics of longdistance mobility. An advantage of using time-space paths is that several aspects of an individual's travel biography can be represented in a single image: intensity and extensity are immediately evident, and the temporal and spatial relationships between the various mobility actions are made visible.

Using data describing all transnational trips taken during childhood and adolescence by sixty-two Swedish youth with different backgrounds, three aspects of how trajectories develop over time are discussed in more detail. The first concerns overall change in travel pattern with time. A dominant pattern of increase in travel with increasing age is observed, indicating the importance of further investigating how travel behaviour is related to experience and life-course transitions. Second, sequential relationships between migration and temporary mobility are examined. In spite of the relatively small number of respondents, a wide range of such relationships are disclosed in the material. Third, regularity and repetition in long-distance travel patterns is discussed as an increasingly important aspect of contemporary transnational mobility. Among these young people, highly regular travel is often motivated by enduring long-distance social relationships, but is also generated by leisure or holiday travel alone.

Keywords: Sweden; biography; mobility; time-geography; transnationalism; young people

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2008.00273.x

Affiliations: Dept. of Human and Economic Geography, Göteborg University, P.O. Box 630, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden., Email: lotta.frandberg@geography.gu.se

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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