JobMob is the first major quantitative European survey on job-related “high mobility”. It aims to understand mobility practices, not only through the specific social arrangements and resources required by mobile people (sex, age, training and salary levels, hierarchical position, etc.) but also from the point of view of mobility experiences.
Emmanuel Ravalet is an engineer and a doctor in Economics, and had PhD in Urban Studies. He works at the Institute of Geography and Sustainability of Lausanne University and at Mobil'Homme, where he is a founding partner. His research focuses on work-related mobility, energy consumption, new mobility services and local economic development.
Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin has a PhD in sociology from Paris-Descartes University and is a specialist in altermobility and innovative uses of mobility. A founding partner of Mobil'Homme, she is also a lecturer at the Institut d'Urbanisme in Lyon and an associate researcher at the EPFL's Urban Sociology Laboratory.
Yann Dubois is a Geographer, he has a Master degree from Neuchâtel university. His research mainly focuses on mobility, urban questions and frontier issues. Nowadays, he works at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s Urban Sociology Laboratory (Lasur - EPFL), (Swiss).
Vincent Kaufmann, a Swiss sociologist, is one of the pioneers of mobility and inventor of the concept of motility. He is director of LaSUR at the EPFL, General Secretary of CEAT and professor of sociology and mobility analyses.
Gil Viry is a Research Fellow in sociology at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are in the field of geographical mobility, distance, family and personal relationships, quantitative methods, life course research and social network analysis.
JobMob is the first major quantitative European survey on job-related “high mobility”. The overall aim of the research is to quantify and analyse long-distance mobilities in Europe, to identify their causes and impacts with regard to transportation supply, family life and professional life. It aims to understand mobility practices, not only through the specific social arrangements and resources required by mobile people (sex, age, training and salary levels, hierarchical position, etc.) but also from the point of view of mobility experiences.
The originality of this study lies in the specific nature of the mobilities studied — those of people who travel regularly for business, long-distance commuters and individuals with multilocational living arrangements. High mobility for job-related reasons has often been a topic of investigation, but more often than not based on an economic approach that only marginally addresses interaction with the social structure.
An initial survey (JobMob 1), conducted between 2006 and 2010 in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Poland and Switzerland of over 7,000 people, examined job-related mobilities and their impact on the careers, well-being and family lives of mobile people. A second wave, conducted in Germany, Spain, France and Switzerland from late 2010 to early 2014, allowed for a longitudinal analysis in the four countries, making JobMob the first survey to measure long-distance mobility and its effects in its various expressions over the long term.
In addition to funding its quantitative components, the Forum’s participation in this project was also an opportunity to add a qualitative aspect to the study. The hypothesis for this component was the existence of different ways of appropriating living spaces and transit areas according to time frame (daily, multi-day or weekly commuting) and individuals’ familiarity with the spaces frequented. To do this, the methodology developed includes a participatory section based on the photo-elicitation method (Rose: 2003; Harper: 2002). The originality of this method lies in the inclusion of photographs during the interviews, which prompts respondents to talk about things they might not have otherwise. The joint analysis of interviews and photographs provides a more detailed reading of how respondents experience their daily mobility.
JobMob’s scientific objectives are threefold:
to analyse in greater depth the motility of those who practice long-distance, job-related mobilities. This analysis will, in particular, help us identify those factors relating to the rail transport supply that are likely to affect these long-distance mobility practices.
to measure changes in overnighting practices and their implications for career and family life over time.
to enrich scientific knowledge of the connections between long-distance, job-related mobility and social mobility by means of transversal analyses.
The research, launched in 2011, is conducted by Yann Dubois, Vincent Kaufmann, Emmanuel Ravalet, Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin and Gil Viry of LaSUR-EPFL. The results of the study will be available early 2014.
The Mobile Lives Forum plans to publish a book that will include an infographic visualization of the results of the quantitative study and its qualitative component.
Every person, every group can be characterised by greater or lesser propensities for moving around a geographic, economic and social space. “Motility” has been the name given to these aptitudes, a reference to the use of this term in biology.