The Impact of Residential Mobility on Wellbeing Within a Segregated Post-conflict Society

Deborah Hyden, Ian Shuttleworth, Clifford Stevenson

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Abstract

Research on residential mobility suggests it causes increased individualism and decreased wellbeing due to the disruption of social networks (Oishi, 2010). However, this has largely overlooked the importance of ‘place’ as a symbolic and enduring aspect of collective identity (Bonaiuto et al., 1996), and as a physical living environment (Galster, 2001), both of which have a profound effect on wellbeing. This is particularly pertinent in divided societies where geographical mobility is linked to movement across territorial boundaries and between opposed communities. The effects of mobility on collective identity processes remain to be investigated. In post-conflict Northern Ireland, residential mobility takes place against a backdrop of segregation (Boal, 2008), deprivation (Shirlow, 2001), and territorialised identity (Anderson & Shuttleworth, 1998). However, Census evidence shows residential segregation has recently decreased (Shuttleworth, Barr, & Gould, 2013), accompanied by a small increase in the number of proportionally ‘mixed’ areas (Shuttleworth & Lloyd, 2014). The present study begins to explore how wellbeing and identity are affected by such residential transitions. Using data from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal study, this research maps the occurrence and correlates of internal migration in an intergroup context. Although initial findings suggest the presence of a ‘healthy migrant’ effect, whether individuals retain a positive state of wellbeing post transition remains to be seen. This evidence will form the basis of further mixed methods exploration of the causes and consequences of mobility upon wellbeing in this divided context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sep 2016
EventRoyal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Aug 201602 Sep 2016

Conference

ConferenceRoyal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period30/08/201602/09/2016

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    Hyden, D., Shuttleworth, I., & Stevenson, C. (2016). The Impact of Residential Mobility on Wellbeing Within a Segregated Post-conflict Society. Paper presented at Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference 2016, London, United Kingdom.