At home in generic places: personalizing strategies of the mobile rich

Abstract

In the literature it is often suggested that mobile people, like their non-mobile counterparts, look for particular places to connect with. This has been documented in research focused on the way in which migrants (re)create particular places in their countries of destination (i.e., the formation of ethnic enclaves). However, our extensive fieldwork among Mexican professionals in Madrid, such as postgraduate students, academics, IT professionals, journalists, and others, point toward the opposite direction: for the very mobile and the recently arrived particular places matter little (Duyvendak in The politics of home. Belonging and nostalgia in Western Europe and the United States. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2011; Ley-Cervantes in Stuck in the middle: home-making strategies of Mexican Middling Migrants. Ph.D. Thesis, Autonomous University of Madrid, 2012). Instead they rely on generic places, such as airports, chain restaurants or hotels to feel at home. Instead of taking for granted the homeliness of certain places, this paper aims to inquire the role of generic places in the home-making experiences of a small and rather privileged portion of the moving population.

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Correspondence to Melissa Ley-Cervantes.

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Ley-Cervantes, M., Duyvendak, J.W. At home in generic places: personalizing strategies of the mobile rich. J Hous and the Built Environ 32, 63–76 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-015-9492-z

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Keywords

  • Chronically mobile
  • Generic places
  • Home
  • Madrid
  • Mexicans
  • Personalization