Scholars are increasingly drawing attention to the difficulties that lifestyle migrants experience in their pursuit of happiness. It seem they are not always the affluent, powerful, privileged post-colonials that is assumed. Of course, that is why Michaela Benson and I define lifestyle migration as the movement of the relatively affluent. If we had understood lifestyle migration to consistently be characterized by absolute wealth, we would have spoken simply of affluent people, and not bothered with the adjective ‘relative’. As time goes by and the global financial crisis takes shape in the reconfiguring of social structures and social positioning, the liminal status of some migrants becomes apparent. The incredible manipulations and machinations that go into managing migration to ensure the state includes the sought-after and excludes the less desirable has some interesting and perhaps unexpected side-effects.
Karen O’Reilly will be talking about some of these issues at a talk at Compas, Oxford, on 27th February 2014.