Mobility and the middle classes: A case study of Manchester and the North West

Fiona Devine, Nadia Joanne Britton, Rosemary Mellor, Peter Halfpenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While much is known about the mobility patterns of the middle classes in London and the South East, far less is certain about middle-class migration patterns in other regions of the country. Nor has the importance of other regional centres in providing opportunities in the professions and management been acknowledge. This article rectifies these omissions by drawing on research with young professionals employed in Manchester in the North West. It explores the migratory patterns of the 'migrant' interviewees. The article will show that the majority of young professionals were 'migrants' in having been geographically mobile at some point in their lives. Different types of migrants are identified: (1) those with family affiliations; (2) those with university roots; and (3) those with (seemingly) no connections to the city or the region. These migratory practices are shaped by different factors: namely, the close proximity of family and friends, attractive job opportunities in Manchester, the role of universities in establishing roots and a sense of belonging and, finally, and identification with the North - widely defined and straddling the Pennines. These factors also shaped the residential patterns of the sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-509
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


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