Eric D. Widmer

Kaufmann,V., Widmer,E.,D. (2006). Motility and family dynamics: Current issues and research agendas.Zeitschrift fr Familienforschung, 1, pp. 111-130. Mobility capital, or "motility", is an essential part of social integration in very modern societies that are experiencing an increase in the number of ways in which people can move through time and space and thereby ensure the simultaneous presence of beings or actors. Today, strategic choices and mobility differentiation have taken the place of spatial constraint. In maintaining that motility is a good basis for analysing the motivations, decision-making processes and constraints that dominate the use of space, we intend to show that far from being a purely personal trait essentially dependent on innate skills or strategies, motility is construed within the family sphere, and as such is a factor of the motivations that govern the functioning and structures of the family sphere. After presenting the concept of motility and illustrating its implications for family life and its spatial manifestations, we will take a look at the effect of family structures and functioning on the acquisition of motility and on children leaving home, before going on to explore the links between residential location and the acquisition of motility and the tensions that these links can produce between the residential context and the functioning of the family. We will conclude by taking a renewed look at the spaces occupied by the family in light of the research results.

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