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Migration motives of gay men in the new acceptance era: a cohort study from Malmö, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7272-1729
2016 (English)In: Social & cultural geography (Print), ISSN 1464-9365, E-ISSN 1470-1197, Vol. 17, no 5, 605-622 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Greater diversity in life courses has become both possible and real in the twenty-first century, affecting the relocation behaviours of individuals. Therefore, it is logical that the relocation patterns of minorities have been receiving increasing attention. In particular, the migration patterns of gay men have been studied, with a focus on the embodied reasons for mobility. This downsized analysis has shown the importance of identity building and identity search. However, this article argues that analysis of migration among gay men also needs to be upsized. This study aims to show how both context and embodiment has affected the mobility of gay men. Through a case study within the context of a strong welfare state (Sweden) that adopted sexual equality early, gay men’s motives for migration are studied. The results suggest that the migration patterns of gay men are becoming more similar to those of the general population. This finding shows that current conceptualisations of the migration patterns of gay men can be advanced by acknowledging contextual effects. The integration of a downsized and an upsized understanding also offers the possibility of moving beyond the identity specifics showing that populations are becoming increasingly diverse and homogeneous simultaneously.

Abstract [fr]

Une plus grande diversité de parcours de vie est devenue possible et réelle au 21ème siècle, affectant les comportements de relocalisation des individus. Il est donc logique que les tendances de relocalisation des minorités aient suscité une attention croissante. En particulier, les tendances migratoires des hommes gays ont fait l’objet d’études, dont l’intérêt se focalisait sur les raisons incarnées de mobilité. Cette analyse à échelle réduite a montré l’importance de construction de l’identité et de recherche de l’identité. Pourtant, cet article soutient que l’analyse de la migration chez les hommes gays a aussi besoin d’être plus étendue. Cette étude a pour but de montrer comment le contexte et l’incarnation ont tous les deux affecté la mobilité des hommes gays. Les motivations des hommes gays pour la relocalisation sont étudiées à travers un cas d’étude dans le contexte d’un Etat-providence fort (la Suède), en avance en matière d’égalité sexuelle. Les résultats suggèrent que les tendances de migration des hommes gays ressemblent plus à celles de la population générale. Ce résultat montre que les conceptualisations actuelles des tendances de migration des hommes gays peuvent être avancées en reconnaissant les effets contextuels. L’intégration d’une compréhension à petite échelle et à grande échelle offre aussi la possibilité de dépasser les spécificités identitaires et de montrer que les populations deviennent simultanément plus diverses et plus homogènes.

Abstract [es]

Una mayor diversidad en el transcurso de la vida es posible y real en el siglo XXI, afectando los comportamientos de reubicación de las personas. Por lo tanto, es lógico que los patrones de reubicación de las minorías hayan estado recibiendo cada vez más atención. En particular, los patrones de migración de los hombres homosexuales se han estudiado con un enfoque en los motivos de realización para la movilidad. Este análisis reducido ha demostrado la importancia de la construcción de la identidad y la búsqueda de identidad. Sin embargo, este artículo sostiene que el análisis de la migración entre los hombres homosexuales también necesita ser ampliado. Este estudio tiene como objetivo mostrar cómo ambos contexto y modo de realización han afectado a la movilidad de los hombres gay. A través de un estudio de caso en el contexto de un estado con beneficios sociales sólidos (Suecia) que adoptó la igualdad sexual temprana, se estudian los motivos de los hombres gay para migrar. Los resultados sugieren que los patrones de migración de los hombres homosexuales son cada vez más similares a los de la población general. Este hallazgo demuestra que las conceptualizaciones actuales de los patrones de migración de hombres homosexuales pueden ser avanzadas mediante el reconocimiento de los efectos contextuales. La integración de un entendimiento reducido y ampliado también ofrece la posibilidad de ir más allá de los detalles de identidad que muestran que las poblaciones se están haciendo cada vez más diversas y homogéneas de forma simultánea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 17, no 5, 605-622 p.
Keyword [en]
life course, gay men, migration motives, historical effects, Sweden, urban/rural
Keyword [fr]
parcours de vie, motivations de migration, effets historiques, Suède, urbain/rural
Keyword [es]
transcurso de vida, hombres gay, motivos de migración, efectos históricos, Suecia, urbano/rural
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102890DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2015.1112026ISI: 000380066400001OAI: diva2:713890
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2016-09-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Beyond Bright City Lights: The Migration Patterns of Gay Men and Lesbians
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond Bright City Lights: The Migration Patterns of Gay Men and Lesbians
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the most persistent popular notions of gay men and lesbians is that they either live in or move to larger cities. In this thesis, the geography and migration paths of gay men and lesbians are studied using the life course perspective to challenge this idea. It is argued that gay men and lesbians are affected by the time and place into which they are born. Like heterosexuals, they are subject to the normative conceptions of life paths that are present at a specific historical period and place. Adopting a mixed-methods approach, four studies related to this aim are conducted.

The first study shows that the tendency for gay men and lesbians to be concentrated to the largest cities in Sweden is greater than for heterosexuals. However, it also shows that the concentration tendency of lesbians and couples is less strong. The second study illustrates that tolerance plays no role in the geographical concentration of gay men and lesbians. Although perceived tolerance is often assumed to matter, this study shows that measured intolerance does not have an effect on the concentration tendency. The third study explores the migration motives of gay men and lesbians living in the city of Malmö, Sweden. It shows that the life stories of older cohorts resembled typical rural-urban flight stories but that the youngest cohort stressed motives similar to the overall population. This is in sharp contrast to the fourth study, which scrutinises migration stories from Izmir, Turkey. Because legal recognition is lacking, following the same life path as heterosexuals is problematic for gay men and lesbians. Because moving out is connected to this path, they remained living at home longer or never moved. Accordingly, the family played a core role in their lives rather than the rural-urban binary.

Taken together, these four studies show that the geography and migration patterns of gay men and lesbians are more multifaceted than living in or moving to a larger city.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2014. 72 p.
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 146
gay and lesbian, migration, rural/urban, tolerance, life course, Sweden, Turkey
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102850 (URN)978-91-7447-920-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-05, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2014-05-09

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