To move or not to move: mobility decision-making in the context of welfare conditionality and paid employment

Greg Marston*, Juan Zhang, Michelle Peterie, Gaby Ramia, Roger Patulny, Emma Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mobility and agency of the unemployed have rarely been examined together in welfare administration. Mobility research has much to offer the (im)mobility of low-skilled and unemployed workers. The article begins by critically examining dominant public discourse and policy reforms that stigmatise the assumed immobility of the unemployed. Drawing on empirical data from in-depth interviews with people on income support payments in Australia, it then offers a critical view on the mobility decision-making processes of these job-seekers. Building on previous research concerning the politics of mobility, it shows that structural inequalities impact mobility choices, making relocation difficult for many job-seekers. At the same time, it highlights the localised mobility that job search now involves, complicating orthodox associations between mobility and power–as well as assumptions that job-seekers are immobile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-611
Number of pages16
JournalMobilities
Volume14
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Mobility
  • immobility
  • unemployment
  • Australia
  • income support
  • welfare conditionality

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