Farewell to the Welfare : On the role of chronic stress in lifestyle migration

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Kulturgeografiska institutionen


While studies concerned with migration and the welfare, or migration and stress, have been focusing on either notions of a welfare-magnet or issues related to PTSDs, representing an overt research focus on migration from poorer to richer nations, none have explored the possible role of chronic stress as an underlying trigger for wishing to escape the welfare society. This study explores just this, elaborating upon the lifestyle-concept. Using the latest financial crisis as a theoretical turning point, a comparative case study was performed with Swedish migrant entrepreneurs in Costa del Sol, as compared to previously performed studies from the area. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were carried out with different actors for the purpose of triangulation. Statistics were used for an elementary understanding, in a mixed method design. Analysis was performed on macro to micro scales, providing findings in line with previous research on lifestyle-migration. New findings however include a recognition of long-term exposure to stress as an underlying trigger for wishing to escape the welfare-society, as well as the perception of the holiday-destination as the antithesis to stress making it the preferred choice for relocation. The paper concludes that if stress push people away from Sweden, it can be considered global in scope.

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