The children of the hunters: self-realisation projects and class reproduction

2009-12-14T12:16:47Z (GMT) by Karen OReilly
For Zygmunt Bauman the search for utopia in contemporary, liquid life takes the form of an individualised hunt, a self-realisation project rather than an attempt to improve wider society. While lifestyle migration, a mobility motivated by dreams and facilitated by at least comparative wealth, can generally be viewed in this light, does this also hold true for the children? This chapter presents material from interviews and conversations with children of lifestyle migrants in Southern Spain and examines the validity of Bauman’s perspective. It concludes that while his theories appear to work well in explaining the motivations behind lifestyle migration, he lacks emphasis on the continuing salience of traditional categories and the reproduction of structures of inequality, which remain profoundly relevant even for these very young actors in liquid life. To fully understand the choices children make, the trajectories they weave, and the identities they create, we need to invoke the work of Bourdieu and his concepts of habitus, field and capital.