Learning Insularity: Social Capital, Social Learning and Staying at Home Among European Youth

  • David Cairns
  • Katarzyna Growiec


Rather than explore how young people acquire mobility predispositions, this chapter discusses how European youth learn not to be mobile. Using the results of original research conducted in Northern Ireland and Portugal, we focus upon two specific mobility themes, housing transitions and migration intentions, and examine the relationship between the two. We found that almost three quarters of young people in both samples were living in the parental home, with a significant correlation between residing at home and not wanting to be trans-nationally in the future. While economic factors can be important in mobility decision-making, social capital generated by social ties with family members was more influential in the present context. We conclude that an informal social learning process has taken place in the parental home, leading many young people to learn to be geographically insular.


Young People Social Capital Social Learning Parental Home Housing Transition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research and Studies in SociologyISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Edifício ISCTE, Av. das Forças ArmadasLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyWarsaw School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland

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