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A Mobile Life Story Tracing Hopefulness in the Life and Dreams of a Young Ivorian Migrant

Jesper Bjarnesen


The analysis suggests an adaptation of the life history interview as a method in qualitative migration studies. By joining four analytical concepts into an overall methodological framework, the mobile life story is intended to guide the exploration of the subjective experiences of migrants at various stages of a migrant trajectory. The notion of ‘mobility’ evokes a holistic orientation in the study of migrant biographies; the unpredictability that characterises the social practice of migrants is captured through the concept of ‘hopefulness’; the concept of ‘vital conjunctures’ is argued to provide a temporal delimitation and a focus for the organising of a life history interview; and the spatial dimension of the methodology is delimited through the concept of ‘emplacement’. As opposed to a migration history, the mobile life story explores the significant transformations that have characterised the migrant’s past and relates these defining moments to the broader migration history.


Mobile life story; mobility; hope; vital conjunctures; emplacement

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