DOI link for ‘Flexi-lives’
In light of recent research discussing the underpinnings of the so-called ‘mobility discourse’ (Cairns et al., 2017) within youth transitions studies, both as ‘mobility imperative’ (Farrugia, 2016), and as ‘mobility dream’ (Cairns, 2014), in this chapter I develop an enhanced version of the ‘flexi-lives’ approach (Cuzzocrea, 2011a), grounded in the idea that individualism and individualisation are cultural dispositions around which young people can elaborate coping strategies. In my re-discussion of this idea, I take into particular consideration the mobile ‘spatial contours’ (Farrugia, Smith and Harrison, 2014) of such strategies. Young adults may consider taking mobile pathways as an exercise of reflexivity, the possibility of building alternative futures to those constrained by the space they occupy in the present, eliciting the enaction of a type of reflexivity called ‘spatial reflexivity’ (Cairns, 2014). While not necessarily opening up the pathway to migration – or perhaps because of this – mobility becomes, in ‘mobile flexi-lives’, an additional, albeit immanent, layer of uncertainty which depicts the articulated and dynamic nature of ‘politics of the present’ better than alternative ‘a-mobile’ interpretations. Some references in the chapter are made to the case of Italian young adults; however, this is intended to open out towards reflection upon other contexts.