Young social milieus and multimodality: interrelations of travel behaviours and psychographic characteristics

In many countries of the global North, since the 2010s, there have been discussions about young adults turning away from the tendency exclusively to use cars and moving towards more multimodal behaviours, i.e. the flexible use of several transport modes. A more differentiated perspective on the young generation based on the sociostructural criteria of social milieus is presented in this paper with an empirically founded dataset from the city of Dortmund (Germany). Social milieus aim to reflect both horizontal and vertical differentiations and inequalities within society. Drawing on this assumption, multimodal travel behaviours and corresponding psychological assessments of transport modes are analysed with regard to three contrasting young social milieus: i. precariat, ii. middle class, and iii. cosmopolitan milieu. Based on the authors' observations of the three social milieus, the prevailing conceptualisation of young adults as a supposedly ‘homogeneous group’ of key drivers towards a multimodal society must be negated: i) The precariat is exposed to socioeconomic restrictions and limited in its free mode choice. ii) The middle class demonstrates signs of a (conservative) reproduction of car-oriented behaviour patterns. iii) Only the cosmopolitan milieu indicates a less emotional attachment to the private car and favours ‘green’ multimodal behaviours instead.


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  • Accession Number: 01744059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2020 9:53AM