Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(5), Themed Issue: Migration and race in Europe, pp 977-995

Life stories of mobile individuals provide us with unique perspectives on the condition of modern societies. This article aims to establish the link between narrative accounts of mobility and the conceptual framework of migration studies. Drawing on autobiographical narrative interviews with 91 transnational individuals, this article presents three categories of mobility narratives, emphasizing the specific narrative form and socio-cultural discourse within which they are embedded. It is argued that the perception of power relations underpinning social experiences that can be observed in three distinct narrative archetypes: the story of the guest, trader and explorer. These empirically derived categories aim to systematize the conceptual framework for studies of individual agency and social relations in cross-border mobility contexts and contribute to the debate on methodological nationalism.