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Shultz AAG 2008


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This presentation, co-authored with Brian Johnson, is from the AAG meeting in 2008.

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Shultz AAG 2008

  1. 1. Benjamin Shultz Brian E. Johnson Department of Geography Department of Geography University of Tennessee Indiana University Knoxville, Tennessee Bloomington, Indiana Social Networks Considered in an Examination of Exurban Migration Motivations
  2. 2. Exurbanization <ul><li>Exurban growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1970s to current </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on neighborhood context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks overlooked </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exurbia’s reach and relevance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Service Provision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land Use </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Explaining Exurban Migration <ul><li>How to explain such moves? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban blight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land cost away from city centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attraction to nature and amenities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Migration decisions are influenced by social networks (Boyd 1989, Brown 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Information a key factor (Williams and McMillen 1980) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of emphasis on “social amenities” (Nelson 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Few exurban studies incorporate this perspective </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Question <ul><li>Integrated theoretical approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional Push/Pull Factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consideration of Social Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How did social networks influence the moves of new exurban migrants in addition to conditions in origin/destination communities? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Methodology <ul><li>“ Exurban migrant” </li></ul><ul><li>definition </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Semi-structured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>questioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>34 subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Northwest Illinois and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Indiana </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Huntington County, IN <ul><li>Traditional Reasons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ I’m not a yard person and in a subdivision if a dandelion pops up people run out there and get those damn things. I’m not into that.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Huntington County, IN <ul><li>Many exurban areas could have satisfied his needs </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks influenced his move east </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the direction of his daughter, son-in-law, and two young grandchildren. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ended up moving to an exurban property about 5 miles from his daughter’s family </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move was motivated by his preferences but was guided by his social network connection </li></ul>
  8. 8. Kinship Ties <ul><li>Move was motivated by his preferences but was guided by his kinship ties </li></ul><ul><li>Important theoretical link </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Migration decisions and kinship ties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Theoretical arguments suggest that the family outside the household is likely to influence residential choice&quot; (Mulder 2007, 270) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Marshall County, IN <ul><li>Traditional Factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ [We moved to Marshall County, Indiana] because my husband didn’t like living close to people who were always watching what he was doing.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Marshall County, IN <ul><li>Subject wanted to move to the exurbs, and </li></ul><ul><li>seemingly, any would do </li></ul><ul><li>Moved in the direction of parents </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of kinship </li></ul><ul><li>“ My parents had moved to Koontz Lake…They gave us a direction to go.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Personal Attachments <ul><li>“ Quality of life” migrants are attracted to </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental amenities and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social surroundings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal attachments directly influence the decision to move </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To particular places </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Via kinship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Via other close relationships (Beyers and Nelson 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ My parents got married in Crown Point…so I said if they have an opening there I’ll take it. That’s just how it happened.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Hampton, IL <ul><li>Crowding </li></ul><ul><li>Blandness </li></ul><ul><li>Small lots </li></ul><ul><li>Suburban sprawl </li></ul><ul><li>“ The houses were jammed right next to each other and there was really no character to it at all…” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Hampton, IL <ul><li>Personal Attachments to Place </li></ul><ul><li>Kinship Ties </li></ul><ul><li>“ Our current house is actually my grandfather’s old farmhouse, he had built it about 1935….” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Merrillville, IN <ul><li>Casually looking for “some acreage” </li></ul><ul><li>Suburban life generally satisfactory </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually wanted to move to exurbia </li></ul><ul><li>“ I wanted a place where I could garden. I love to put in flowers and trees…” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Merrillville, IN <ul><li>Transferred house from father </li></ul><ul><li>Desire for space </li></ul><ul><li>Push factor away from suburban sprawl </li></ul><ul><li>“ We weren’t really looking for a house at the time, but when Dad bought the land out here and offered it to us, well we couldn’t pass it up.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Intergenerational Transfers <ul><li>Role of family in modern Western societies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchange of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational transfers of wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Important link between migration and residential choice </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusions <ul><li>Social networks must be considered alongside home site characteristics and origin/destination characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Amenities and local conditions are important, as is the context in which migration decisions are made </li></ul><ul><li>Other influences on exurban migration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kinship Ties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attachment to Particular Places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intergenerational Transfers </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Thank You! Questions or comments?
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