Article by researcher Dora Sampaio and Professor Russel King on migrations and aging in Azores. +
Title It's not everybody that wants to stay on a remote island’: Understanding distinction in the context of lifestyle migrants growing older in the Azores
Authors Dora Sampaio, Russel King
Journal Journal of Rural Studies 72, 186-195
Keywords Distinction; Lifestyle; migration; Aging; Islands; Rural spaces; Azores
Full article available here.
The paper analyses lifestyle migrants' choice of relocation and experiences of growing older in the Azores islands, drawing on Bourdieu's concept of ‘distinction’. The paper weaves together two main contributions: it develops empirical research on a ‘new frontier’ for lifestyle migration in Europe, operationalising the concepts of social and spatial distinction in this rather unique rural insular context; and it unpicks the complex relationship between lifestyle migrants and local Azoreans. The article draws on extensive field research in the Azores archipelago, including 66 life narrative interviews with older foreign lifestyle migrants and local people. A quest for social and spatial distinction is found to be deeply embedded in the migrants' decision to relocate to and grow older in these rural islands, and this distinction is discursively co-produced by both migrants and locals. Lifestyle migrants to the Azores are shown to construct their ‘difference’ mainly in relation to lifestyle migrants in other, so-called ‘mainstream’ destinations and to validate this narrative by displaying their pursuit for alternative lifestyles, where rurality, closeness to nature, place attachment, and a ‘true’ belonging to the islander community feature as centrepieces in their narratives.