To move or not to move: mobility decision-making in the context of welfare conditionality and paid employment

Greg Marston*, Juan Zhang, Michelle Peterie, Gaby Ramia, Roger Patulny, Emma Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Citations (Scopus)
165 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The mobility and agency of the unemployed have rarely been examined together in welfare administration. Mobility research has much to offer the (im)mobility of low-skilled and unemployed workers. The article begins by critically examining dominant public discourse and policy reforms that stigmatise the assumed immobility of the unemployed. Drawing on empirical data from in-depth interviews with people on income support payments in Australia, it then offers a critical view on the mobility decision-making processes of these job-seekers. Building on previous research concerning the politics of mobility, it shows that structural inequalities impact mobility choices, making relocation difficult for many job-seekers. At the same time, it highlights the localised mobility that job search now involves, complicating orthodox associations between mobility and power–as well as assumptions that job-seekers are immobile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-611
Number of pages16
JournalMobilities
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Australia
  • immobility
  • income support
  • Mobility
  • unemployment
  • welfare conditionality

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