The Concept of Mobility in Migration Processes: The Subjectivity of Moving towards a Better Life

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This chapter considers the concept of mobility within the debate about internal migration processes in Francoist Spain. It examines migration into the greater Madrid area starting in the early 1950s, and specifically focuses on those newcomers who settled in the massive triangle of barrios chabolistas, which formed on the southeastern outskirts of the capital. The main claim is that different notions of mobility greatly conditioned the outlook of both the authorities and the migrants on the process of internal migration as a social phenomenon. Such notions interacted with more general discourses on modernization, economic progress, and morality in Francoist Spain. The regime viewed mobility --whether spatial or social-- as a destabilizing force that could easily escape its control. These perceptions influenced its outlook on the migrants themselves, and conditioned the policies towards them. Many migrants, on the other hand, perceived spatial mobility as a way of escaping a limiting environment. This view helped them to keep on a project that during its initial phases often worsened their living conditions. By examining the different interpretations and values assigned to the concept of mobility, the author attempts to better understand the politics of location undertaken by the migrants themselves, and the ways in which the authorities reacted to them.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationIdentity and Migration in Europe: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsMariaCaterina La Barbera
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-10127-9
StatePublished - 2015


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