Life events and mobility milestones: Advances in mobility biography theory and research

The concept of mobility biographies has recently gained considerable currency in social-scientific transport research, reflecting increasing awareness of the long-term development of mobility practices. To complement existing work on the effects of major life events on mobility practices, the authors introduce the novel concept of ‘mobility milestones’, that is, mobility-related events across the life course that show a very high dependence on (infra)structural factors. Overall, the paper explicitly recognises the centrality of interactions between structural factors and human agency, thereby moving beyond a sole focus on individual travel behaviour. Initially, this paper reviews social and interdisciplinary research on mobility biographies, especially studies that use retrospective survey methodologies. Building on this review, the authors present an innovative online survey tool that has been deployed on the island of Ireland (n = 324) to record changes in individuals' mobility biographies and their connections with both life events and mobility milestones. This is followed by a discussion of key findings regarding the impact of starting college, residential relocation and changing employment, as well as buying a car or bicycle or getting a driving licence on individuals' modal choice.


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  • Accession Number: 01599432
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 6 2016 9:27AM