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Couples’ geography and network overlap: spatial mobility skills and conjugal quality

Congratulations to Dr Gil Viry who has received funding for the research project: ‘Inequalities in geographical mobility, conjugal networks and conjugal quality’.

This research aims to study how couple satisfaction is related to the network and geography of couples in a motility approach. Family migration and physical distance with family and friends may cause strains on the relationship and can sometimes lead to union dissatisfaction and dissolution. Many studies have focused on women’s employment, since family migration is often driven by men’s professional careers. Another important but less-researched reason is that moving to a new place may sever social relationships and social networks one or both partners were embedded in at the previous place of residence. The couple’s network overlap, i.e. the degree to which partners share friends and family, has been found to be an important factor in couple identity, quality and stability. We expect that the ability of mobile partners to share friends and family in old and new places is likely to depend on individuals’ motility, i.e. all the characteristics enabling actors to be spatially mobile (mobility skills, access and projects). While the importance of spatial mobilities in the research of contemporary families is more widely recognised, few empirical studies have been done on these issues. This project aims to fill this important research gap by analysing how motility and couple’s network overlap moderate the influence of residential mobility on the satisfaction with the partner. Data from the MOSAiCH 2019 survey including a specific module of questions on the topic will be used.

Period: 2019 – 2022

PI: Gil Viry (University of Edinburgh)

Co-I: Vincent Kaufmann (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland), Jacques-Antoine Gauthier (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Post-doc: Guillaume Drevon (EPFL)