The phenomenological and discursive practice of place in lifestyle migration: a case study of Stanthorpe, Queensland

PhD Thesis


Wallis, Rachael Dimity. 2018. The phenomenological and discursive practice of place in lifestyle migration: a case study of Stanthorpe, Queensland . PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5c0db735f69d6
Title

The phenomenological and discursive practice of place in lifestyle migration: a case study of Stanthorpe, Queensland

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorWallis, Rachael Dimity
SupervisorMcWilliam, Kelly
Carniel, Jess
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages171
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5c0db735f69d6
Abstract

Lifestyle migration, popularly known as ‘tree-’ or ‘sea-change’ in Australia, is a phenomenon increasingly depicted in various media including films, television shows, books, blogs and magazines. Much of the previous research on lifestyle migration has been anthropological and sociological in approach, and has not fully examined the important links to the media so prevalent in late modernity. In contrast, this research is positioned within cultural studies and employs a cultural, materialist and phenomenological approach. Using three methods, textual analysis, interviews and researcher reflections, it examines how selected texts depict lifestyle migration, influence the lived experience, and impact identity. To pursue these foci, textual and discursive analyses of recent lifestyle migration media were conducted. These analyses were combined with semi-structured interviews with 12 lifestyle migrants—using Stanthorpe, Queensland as a case study—and personal reflections of the researcher, also a lifestyle migrant, to offer a fuller, hermeneutical analysis. The central argument of this thesis is that texts create and are created by imagined worlds which influence people to make life decisions that then impact their necessarily emplaced identity. I argue that employing a cultural studies orientation to the field of lifestyle migration, and engaging methods such as discourse analysis, interviews and personal reflections, produces new understandings that reflect the growing importance of cultural texts on the decisions made in our day-to-day lives. These understandings would not be possible using one method alone. This approach both extends and deepens the field of lifestyle migration research and situates it within existing social imaginaries and popular discourse central to the late modern experience.

Keywordslifestyle migration, identity, media, cultural studies, Australia, discourse
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470203. Consumption and everyday life
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
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