Each for its own reason, the study of residential mobility has been a concern of three disciplines: so-ciology,economics, and geography. For the economis！,residential shifts provide a means for studying thehousing and land markets. Geographers study mobility to understand the spatial distributions of populationtypes. For the sociologist,interest in residential mobility-laas two sources: one stemming from the study ofhuman ecology and the other,from a concern with the peculiar qualities of urban life. "Of course,thereare clearly overlapping concerns and it is often difficult to discern the disciplinary origins of a researcherby solely examining the kinds of questions he or she raises about mobility,although it is usually easier toidentify a researcher's discipline by noting the methods used and the concepts employed.
Urban mobility first appears in the sociological literature as a term expressing rather generalizedqualities of urban, as opposed the non-urban life. Some sociologists refer to the mobility of the city as theconsiderable sum of myriad and incessant sources of stimulation impinging upon the urban dweller, a sortof sensory overload which produces sophistication, indifference and a lowered level of affection in urbandwellers. There is simply so much to experience that the urban dweller's capacity is reduced to react in a"spontaneous" and "natural" way to urban existence. It is mobility in this sense that produces some of thespecial qualities of urban life , which , on the other hand, appeal to migrants as an escape from the dull-ness and oppression of rural existence with its lack of change and stimulation, and on the other hand, pro-duces anomie and alienation in a society where men see each other primarily as means to ends rather thanas ends in themselves. Of course, mobility in this larger sense of sensory overload is not a concept whichlends itself easily to measurement, especially since it is a macro-system property.