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Returning to place : the return migration of young adults to Tasmania

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Easthope, H (2006) Returning to place : the return migration of young adults to Tasmania. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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PDF (Front Matter)
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PDF (Introduction and Chapter 1)
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PDF (Chapters 2 and 3)
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PDF (Chapter 4)
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PDF (Chapters 5 and 6)
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PDF (Chapter 7, Conclusion, References and Appendices)
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Abstract

Traditionally migration scholarship has been concerned with the question of why
people migrate. This has lead many migration researchers to search for lists of causal
factors understood to influence migration decisions. More recent migration research
has come to recognize that to understand why people migrate, it is important to look
beyond such lists and attempt to provide a more complex and nuanced account of the
migration process. This thesis draws upon these more recent studies and begins with
the premise that to begin to answer the question of why people migrate, one must first
try to comprehend how people negotiate, experience and understand their migrations.
Through a study of the return migration of young adults to the state of Tasmania in
Australia, this thesis discusses the utility of the concepts of 'mobility' and 'place' for
exploring the complexities of people's negotiations, experiences and understandings
of migration. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with thirty young adults
(aged between twenty and thirty-eight) who had left Tasmania and subsequently
returned. The thesis speaks to discussions surrounding the emigration of young adults
and concerns about 'brain drain' occurring in many regions in Australia as well as
internationally. The choice of Tasmania as a case study for this research is highly
appropriate, as concerns surrounding the out-migration of young people from the
state have influenced the State's social, economic and political life since the early
1900s. By examining return migration, the focus is shifted away from discourses that
bemoan the negative effects of the emigration of young adults, instead recognising
that migration can also bring benefits to both young migrants themselves and to the
places they move between.
The research found that people's experiences of migration were intricately tied to
their negotiations and understandings of places. Through a complex analysis of
constructions of mobility, place and belonging, the thesis reveals that young
Tasmanians retain deep emotional and social connections to Tasmania at all stages of
the migration process. These connections are influenced by constructions of
Tasmania as a place that is understood simultaneously as 'bounded and insular' and
as 'networked'. The thesis concludes by pointing to the implications of both mobility
and place construction for the politics and economies of the places migrants move
between, as well as for the practical considerations and identity constructions of the
migrants themselves, and reasserts the importance of these concepts for studies of
migration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2008 00:47
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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