Click here to download

Digital nomad lifestyle: a liminal experience of identity transition
Author/s: Vincenzo Luise 
Year:  2022 Issue: 162 Language: English 
Pages:  21 Pg. 208-228 FullText PDF:  220 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SL2022-162010
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 

This study contributes to the theoretical perspectives on digital nomad identity. The aim is to go beyond the construction of the nomadic identity framed as identi-ty work in liquid modernity. In doing that, the paper offers an empirical investiga-tion of how knowledge workers construct and perform nomadic subjectivities through liminal work identities in under-institutionalized contexts and symbolic consumption. Drawing on the life history of digital nomads living in Chiang Mai and Bangkok (Thailand), this work concludes that digital nomads know or make the experience that the nomadic lifestyle is not a permanent way of life but a spe-cific stage of their life paths. Digital nomads frame their projects of self-realization through the digital nomad lifestyle as a liminal transition. The digital nomad identi-ty emerges as a temporary and opportunistic assemblage of neoliberal do-it-yourself biographies toward the emergence of a post-nomadic identity. However, the paradoxes and constraints embedded in the digital nomad lifestyle can freeze digital nomads in an objective and subjective permanent liminal condition.
Keywords: Digital nomads, Nomadic lifestyle, Identity construction, Liminal transition

  1. Abidin C., Gwynne J. (2017). Entrepreneurial selves, feminine corporeality and lifestyle blogging in Singapore. Asian Journal of Social Science, 45(4-5): 385-408., DOI: 10.1163/15685314-0450400
  2. Agamben G. (1993). The coming community. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  3. Ahuja S., Nikolova N., Stewart C. (2020). Identities, digital nomads and liquid modernity. In: Brown A.D., ed, The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. Appau S., Julie L.O., Klein J.G. (2020). Understanding Difficult Consumer Transitions: The In/Dividual Consumer in Permanent Liminality. Journal of Consumer Research, 47(2): 167-191.
  5. Bandinelli C. (2019). The production of subjectivity in neoliberal culture industries: the case of coworking spaces. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 23(1): 3-19., DOI: 10.1177/136787791987844
  6. Bardhi F., Eckhardt G.M. (2017). Liquid consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(3): 582-597.
  7. Bardhi F., Eckhardt G.M., Arnould E.J. (2012). Liquid relationship to possessions. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(3): 510-529., DOI: 10.1086/66403
  8. Bauman Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  9. Beech N., Gilmore C., Hibbert P., Ybema S. (2016). Identity-in-the-work and musicians’ struggles: the production of self-questioning identity work. Work, employment and society, 30(3): 506-522., DOI: 10.1177/095001701562076
  10. Belk R.W., Costa J.A. (1998). The Mountain Man Myth: A Contemporary Consuming Fantasy. Journal of Consumer Research, 25(3): 218-240., DOI: 10.1086/20953
  11. Benson M., O’Reilly K. (2009). Migration and the search for a better way of life: a critical exploration of lifestyle migration. The sociological review, 57(4): 608-625.
  12. Bidwell M., Briscoe F. (2010). The dynamics of interorganizational careers. Organization Science, 21(5): 1034-1053.
  13. Biehl J. (2005). Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  14. Blackshaw T. (2018). The two rival concepts of devotional leisure: towards an understanding of twenty-first century human creativity and the possibility of freedom. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 1: 75-97.
  15. Cardano M. (2011). La ricerca qualitativa. Bologna: Il Mulino.
  16. Caza B.B., Moss S., Vough H. (2018). From synchronizing to harmonizing: The process of authenticating multiple work identities. Administrative Science Quarterly, 63(4): 703-745., DOI: 10.1177/000183921773397
  17. Clegg S., Baumeler C. (2010). Essai: From iron cages to liquid modernity in organization analysis. Organization studies, 31(12): 1713-1733., DOI: 10.1177/017084061038724
  18. Cody K., Lawlor K. (2011). On the borderline: Exploring liminal consumption and the negotiation of threshold selves. Marketing Theory, 11(2): 207-228., DOI: 10.1177/147059311140322
  19. Cohen S.A., Duncan T., Thulemark M. (2015). Lifestyle mobilities: The crossroads of travel, leisure and migration. Mobilities, 10(1): 155-172., DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2013.82648
  20. Cook D. (2020). The freedom trap: digital nomads and the use of disciplining practices to manage work/leisure boundaries. Information Technology & Tourism, 22: 355-390.
  21. Cresswell T., Martin C. (2012). On turbulence: Entanglements of disorder and order on a Devon beach. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 103(5): 516-529.
  22. D’Andrea A. (2006). Neo‐nomadism: A theory of post‐identitarian mobility in the global age. Mobilities, 1(1): 95-119., DOI: 10.1080/1745010050048914
  23. Fenwick T.J. (2006). Contradictions in portfolio careers: work design and client relations. Career Development International, 11(1): 65-79., DOI: 10.1108/1362043061064238
  24. Garsten C. (1999). Betwixt and between: Temporary employees as liminal subjects in flexible organizations. Organization studies, 20(4): 601-617., DOI: 10.1177/017084069920400
  25. George E., Chattopadhyay P. (2005). One foot in each camp: The dual identification of contract workers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(1): 68-99.
  26. Giddens A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  27. Green P. (2020). Disruptions of self, place and mobility: digital nomads in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Mobilities, 15(3): 431-445., DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2020.172325
  28. Ibarra H. (1999). Provisional selves: Experimenting with image and identity in professional adaptation. Administrative science quarterly, 44(4): 764-791., DOI: 10.2307/266705
  29. Ibarra H., Obodaru O. (2016). Betwixt and between identities: Liminal experience in contemporary careers. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36: 47-64.
  30. Ibarra H., Petriglieri J.L. (2010). Identity work and play. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(10): 10-25., DOI: 10.1108/0953481101101718
  31. Kaplan C. (1996). Questions of travel: Postmodern discourse of displacement. Durham: Duke University Press.
  32. Korpela M. (2014). Lifestyle of freedom? Individualism and lifestyle migration. In: Benson M., Osbaldiston N., eds, Understanding lifestyle migration: theoretical approaches to migration and the quest for a better life. Bassingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan., DOI: 10.1057/9781137328670_
  33. LeCompte M.D., Schensul J.J. (2012). Analysis and interpretation of ethnographic data: A mixed methods approach (Vol. 5). Lanham: AltaMira Press.
  34. Lury C., Wakeford N., eds (2012). Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social. London: Routledge.
  35. Makimoto T., Manners D. (1997). Digital nomad. Chichestes: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  36. Mancinelli F. (2020). Digital nomads: freedom, responsibility and the neoliberal order. Information Technology & Tourism, 22(3): 417-437.
  37. Marcus G.E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multi-sited ethnography. Annual review of anthropology, 24(1): 95-117.
  38. McElroy E. (2020). Digital nomads in siliconising Cluj: Material and allegorical double dispossession. Urban Studies, 57(15): 3078-3094., DOI: 10.1177/004209801984744
  39. Müller A. (2016). The digital nomad: Buzzword or research category?. Transnational Social Review, 6(3): 344-348., DOI: 10.1080/21931674.2016.122993
  40. Noble C.H., Walker B.A. (1997). Exploring the relationships among liminal transitions, symbolic consumption, and the extended self. Psychology & Marketing, 14(1): 29-47.
  41. Nowell L.S., Norris J.M., White D.E., Moules N.J. (2017). Thematic analysis: Striving to meet the trustworthiness criteria. International journal of qualitative methods, 16(1): 1-13., DOI: 10.1177/160940691773384
  42. Ogle J.P., Tyner K.E., Schofield-Tomschin S. (2013). The role of maternity dress consumption in shaping the self and identity during the liminal transition of pregnancy. Journal of Consumer Culture, 13(2): 119-139., DOI: 10.1177/146954051348016
  43. Olga H. (2020). In search of a digital nomad: defining the phenomenon. Information Technology & Tourism, 22: 335-353.
  44. Orel M. (2019). Coworking environments and digital nomadism: balancing work and leisure whilst on the move. World Leisure Journal, 61(3): 215-227., DOI: 10.1080/16078055.2019.163927
  45. Prester J., Cecez-Kecmanovic D., Schlagwein D. (2019). Becoming a digital nomad: Identity emergence in the flow of practice. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Munich, 15-18 December.
  46. Reichenberger I. (2018). Digital nomads–a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure. Annals of Leisure Research, 21(3): 364-380., DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2017.135809
  47. Rickly-Boyd J.M. (2012). Lifestyle climbing: Toward existential authenticity. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 17(2): 85-104., DOI: 10.1080/14775085.2012.72989
  48. Stebbins R.A. (2007). Serious leisure: A perspective for our time. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
  49. Stebbins R.A. (2018). The sociology of leisure: An estranged child of mainstream sociology. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 1(1): 43-53.
  50. Strauss A., Corbin J.M. (1997). Grounded theory in practice. London: Sage.
  51. Szakolczai A. (2000). Reflexive Historical Sociology. London: Routledge.
  52. Thomassen B. (2014). Liminality and the Modern: Living through the in-Between. London: Routledge.
  53. Thompson B.Y. (2019). The digital nomad lifestyle:(remote) work/leisure balance, privilege, and constructed community. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 2(1-2): 27-42.
  54. Turner V. (1995). The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure. New York: Aldine de Gruyter (first edition 1969).
  55. Van Gennep A. (1960). The rites of passage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (first edition 1909).
  56. Vinsel A., Brown B.B., Altman I., Foss C. (1980). Privacy regulation, territorial displays, and effectiveness of individual functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(6): 1104-1115.
  57. Wang B., Schlagwein D., Cecez-Kecmanovic D., Cahalane M. (2019). Digital nomadism and the market economy: resistance and compliance. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Munich, 15-18 December.

Vincenzo Luise, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 162/2022, pp. 208-228, DOI:10.3280/SL2022-162010


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content