London calling?: Preferred emigration destinations among Icelandic youth

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Preferred emigration destinations among adolescents reflect images and stereotypes of other countries that continuously emerge in a multitude of local and global discourses and from concrete experiences with other countries. The affinities of Icelandic adolescents are split between the islands of the Northern Atlantic, continental Nordic countries, European core countries, and North American countries. If they had to leave Iceland, however, the largest proportion of Icelandic adolescents would want to move to the United States. Girls are more likely to choose the Nordic countries, in particular Denmark, while boys are more likely to choose English-speaking countries with a reputation for economic and military power such as the United States and England. Adolescents are more likely to prefer migrating to Europe rather than North America if they are proud of their Icelandic nationality, live in cohesive communities, have more educated parents, and feel closer to Europe. Adolescents who want to move abroad are in contrast most likely to have North American destinations in mind. Recent geopolitical changes may however shift the attention of Icelandic adolescents eastward towards the European continent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
JournalActa Sociologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2009

Other keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Affinities
  • Destinations
  • Emigration
  • European
  • Iceland
  • Nordic
  • Migration
  • Youth
  • Migration intentions


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