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"...everywhere she went I had to tag along beside her": Family, life course and everyday mobility in England since the 1940s.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalThe History of the Family
Journal number2
Volume10
Number of pages84
Pages119-36
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Mobility is one of the most important constituents of everyday life, yet it is rarely studied historically and we know little of how it relates to changing family and life course constraints. Using data drawn from oral life histories, this paper examines changes in everyday mobility over the past 60 years focusing both on changes over the life course and on the constraints imposed by family structures. We argue that, like residential migration, daily mobility has been closely related to the life course, with women especially affected by the constraints of motherhood and marriage. However, there is evidence that such constraints have changed over time, and that some older people today enjoy more mobility than they did at earlier life stages. We also argue that the independent mobility of children was closely related to the family structure in which they were situated, but that these constraints have changed much less over the past 60 years. The oral testimonies examined also highlight the variability of mobility experiences and the role of the individual in fashioning mobility behaviour.