Flytta eller stanna? : Betydelsen av plats och platsförankring för den kvalificerade arbetskraftens internationella migration

Sammanfattning: As Swedish companies have increased their commitments abroad, the demand for internationally mobile skilled Swedish labour has increased. Some of this demand concerns temporary positions on so called ’expats-contracts’. Often the discussion on this issue originates from a discourse that claims this type of labour force to be unanimously positive towards moving abroad to work. International temporary migration is associated with possibilities and self-fulfilment. This study questions this opinion. The study focuses on migration considerations and the relation between migration and immobility. The purpose of the study is to understand how a number of Swedes, attractive in an international labour market look at, and consider, moving abroad to work on temporary contracts or to stay in their home region in Sweden. The study starts from a geographical approach with a focus on place, place attachment, borders and distances. The ambition is that all the interviewees’ considerations – including those that in themselves do not relate to geographical thoughts – shall be integrated in the analysis. These can for example be aspects of working life and private life such as career, economic considerations, the context that partners and children constitute, social relationships, and the view of security and adventure. The overall picture which the interviewee expresses is analysed through a geographical lens, which means that it is linked to the understanding of place, distance and place attachment. The study is based on two in-depth interview studies. All together twenty-seven persons have been interviewed. The first study comprising of twelve interviewees was carried out on a large transnational company in Lund, Sweden, during the winter of 2004. The second interview study was carried out in Beijing in the autumn of 2005. It includes fifteen persons, who are all Swedish, who at the time of the interviews lived and worked in Beijing on temporary contracts in different transnational firms. The study points both at a conceptual and an empirical complexity. It shows that there is no single relation between considerations concerning place, place attachment and inclinations to move or stay.

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