Ravn, S (2021) ‘Reframing immobility: young women aspiring to ‘good enough’ local futures’. Journal of Youth Studies, Early Online.
Mobility is high on the agenda in both policy and research and being mobile is a positive descriptor, not least for young people. The downside of the focus and value placed on mobility as the path to success is that ‘immobility’ has clear, negative associations: being immobile equals being ‘stuck’, a ‘failure’ and not being aspirational. In this paper I seek to problematise dominant representations of decisions to stay in regional and rural locations as ‘immobility’ that indicates a lack of aspiration or agency. More specifically, by exploring how the participants in this study negotiate belonging and aspiration in ways that are both classed and gendered, the paper contributes to more nuanced representations of the lives of young people living outside of urban spaces. The paper focuses on the regional location in the study.