Following people through time: an analysis of individual residential mobility biographies

Rory Christopher Coulter, Maarten Van Ham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    112 Citations (Scopus)


    The life course framework guides us towards investigating how dynamic life course careers affect residential mobility decision-making and behaviour throughout long periods of individual lifetimes. However, most longitudinal studies linking mobility decision-making to subsequent moving behaviour focus only on year-to-year transitions. This study moves beyond this snapshot approach by analysing the long-term sequencing of moving desires and mobility behaviour within individual lives. Using novel techniques to visualise the desire–mobility sequences of British Household Panel Survey respondents, the study demonstrates that revealing the meanings and significance of particular transitions in moving desires and mobility behaviour requires these transitions to be arranged into mobility biographies. The results highlight the oft-neglected importance of residential stability over the life course, uncovering groups of individuals persistently unable to act in accordance with their moving desires.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1037-1055
    JournalHousing Studies
    Issue number7
    Early online date24 Apr 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Residential mobility
    • Moving desires
    • Life course
    • Biography
    • Longitudinal analysis


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