Health and social fields in the context of lifestyle migration.

Legido-Quigley, H; McKee, M; (2012) Health and social fields in the context of lifestyle migration. Health & place, 18 (6). pp. 1209-1216. ISSN 1353-8292 DOI:

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: Migrants occupy different social fields encompassing both their origin and their destination. Much previous work on interactions within these fields has focused on economic migrants. In this paper we seek to understand the social fields occupied by British pensioners who have moved to Spain and how these interact with their health and their experience of the healthcare system. We explore the links between health, social fields, healthcare, place and social relationships. We use in-depth interviews conducted among those living in a variety of settings. We draw upon Bourdieu's concept of habitus and social fields and differentiate, between ways of being and ways of belonging in the fields. We identified three social fields. The first embraced interviewees' social networks back in the UK where implicit comparisons of healthcare were made. The second embraced their expatriate social networks in Spain which includes their conceptualization of a "healthy life", while the third included the interaction with Spanish institutions, including the healthcare system. This conceptual framework provides new insights for those considering retirement abroad, and those that want to understand how lifestyles and navigating distinct social fields influence health and the healthcare experience.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Academic Services & Administration > Academic Administration
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 22986008
Web of Science ID: 311140800001


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