I am moving with my family this week so that I can start my new position at American University in the Department of Sociology and Center on Health, Risk and Society. I am very excited to be starting this new position being with great new colleagues, being in a wonderful academic and policy environment, and moving back to the area where my wife and I grew up. In addition to a much needed, if only possibly well deserved, vacation last week posts have necessarily been a little slow.
As a scholar of residential mobility, it is very strange to be going through a move myself. Throughout the process, I attempted to remain as reflexive as possible to learn from my own experience and how that might help inform my work. Although nothing I did would constitute "real" research that could be written up and published in a journal, I felt that I was a true participant-observer in the process. The process certainly informed my understanding of the ways that the housing search is an intensely sociological as well as economic process given the bounded rationality of deciding what we could afford, the importance of social networks in overcoming information externalities, and the cultural component of purchasing a home that is often neglected. I have no doubt that these insights will inform my work on the topic, particularly as it highlights the need to understand the social and cultural context of the housing search in addition to traditional economic models.