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Upper Middle Classes in European Cities: Transnational Mobility and Rootedness

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Abstract:

Transnational mobilities may be a growing feature of the everyday lives of European citizen. However, instead of focusing solely on mobility, we argue that in order to assess social change related to mobility, it is necessary to study both the dynamics of mobility and the dynamics of rootedness. Our paper presents the results of explorative research considering the making of a European society as the building of new social networks and practices among European higher social status-groups – in particular upper middle and middle classes – taking place in the interconnection of some European cities. The hypothesis at the core of the research is whether European integration is offering these urban elites the opportunity of “exit” from their own nation-state or national society: in terms of job trajectory, social networks, cultural consumption practices (i.e., holidays and travel), media use, property ownership, education for children, or their expression of social and political values. Most of the engineers and managers we interviewed do feel part of a virtual global society, but the organisation of their life is strongly territorialized within the neighbourhoods of the European cities we studied. Half of them have had some experience of mobility, most travel – although not that much – and they have extensive networks of friends and families close to home. Those who have some long term mobility living in a foreign country are happy with the experience—yet happy to come back where they were after this. Those who are ready to move tend to favour a limited international experience before coming back, and there is still a good deal of managers and engineers with no mobility experience at all.
Our results suggest that the idea of partial exit makes some sense.
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400268_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Le Galès, Patrick. and Andreotti, Alberta. "Upper Middle Classes in European Cities: Transnational Mobility and Rootedness" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, Apr 15, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400268_index.html>

APA Citation:

Le Galès, P. and Andreotti, A. , 2010-04-15 "Upper Middle Classes in European Cities: Transnational Mobility and Rootedness" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400268_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Transnational mobilities may be a growing feature of the everyday lives of European citizen. However, instead of focusing solely on mobility, we argue that in order to assess social change related to mobility, it is necessary to study both the dynamics of mobility and the dynamics of rootedness. Our paper presents the results of explorative research considering the making of a European society as the building of new social networks and practices among European higher social status-groups – in particular upper middle and middle classes – taking place in the interconnection of some European cities. The hypothesis at the core of the research is whether European integration is offering these urban elites the opportunity of “exit” from their own nation-state or national society: in terms of job trajectory, social networks, cultural consumption practices (i.e., holidays and travel), media use, property ownership, education for children, or their expression of social and political values. Most of the engineers and managers we interviewed do feel part of a virtual global society, but the organisation of their life is strongly territorialized within the neighbourhoods of the European cities we studied. Half of them have had some experience of mobility, most travel – although not that much – and they have extensive networks of friends and families close to home. Those who have some long term mobility living in a foreign country are happy with the experience—yet happy to come back where they were after this. Those who are ready to move tend to favour a limited international experience before coming back, and there is still a good deal of managers and engineers with no mobility experience at all.
Our results suggest that the idea of partial exit makes some sense.


Similar Titles:
Global Cities, Systemic Power and Upper-Middle-Class Influence

A transnational European urban elite in the making? Modernization and Europeanization in the discourses of upper-middle classes in Paris, Lyon, Madrid and Milan.


 
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