Matthew Hayes

Adjunct Professor



Matthew Hayes has been a professor at St. Thomas University since 2009.  Prior to that, he taught at Université de Moncton and UNB, and was a graduate student at York University in Toronto, where he defended his PhD dissertation in 2008. He is originally from Dalhousie, New Brunswick, on the traditional Mi’kmaw territory of Gespegeoag.

Growing up in a pulp and paper town, Dr. Hayes developed an interest in questions that would eventually lead him to sociology. The transformations in New Brunswick’s resource-based economy in the 1990s led him to question the territory’s relationship to larger centres, and its history of colonization and insertion into global networks of accumulation. His childhood on this territory inspired his work as a sociologist thinking about connected global histories, which shape our biographies.

Research interests

Matthew Hayes is Canada Research Chair in Global and Transnational Studies. His research explores the lives of lifestyle migrants from high-income countries in the Global North to lower income in the Global South. He has conducted most of his work so far in Ecuador, where he explores how migrants from North America create new lives and new identities through migration, and how they navigate global inequalities of class and racialization. Dr. Hayes is currently in the process of extending his study for comparative purposes to Morocco, where he is conducting interviews with Franco-European lifestyle migrants.

Lifestyle migration refers to the transnational relocation, permanent or part-time, of individuals from relatively wealthy countries, who usually relocate not for labour market purposes, but instead to create a better lifestyle through leisure activities or projects of self-discovery. Lifestyle migrants may also move to take advantage of amenities such as a lower cost of living, better weather, or participation in the life of another culture. Many lifestyle migrants do not see themselves as migrants at all, but refer to their relocation as a move, and of their status in other countries as expats. However, Dr. Hayes argues that these migrations are also part of a global process of migration, caught up in historical forces that shape different types of transnational mobility.

Like many sociologists who study how society works, Dr. Hayes is not indifferent to current events and to the policies that shape how we live. Long interested in social justice and equality, Dr. Hayes was a founding member of the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights in 2020, and has remained a housing activist pushing all levels of government to recognize the ongoing affordable housing and tenants’ rights crises; its origins in the federal government’s abandonment of housing policy in the 1980s and 1990s; and the need for cooperative, non-profit, and publicly-funded solutions that would de-commodify one of our most basic human needs. This activism now informs his current research interests, which are pivoting from transnational mobility towards global urbanization and the political economy of housing.


Hayes, M. (2020) Gringolandia: Migración Norte-Sur y desigualdad global. Quito: Abya-Yala. (Translation from English).

Hayes, M. (2018) Gringolandia: Lifestyle Migration Under Late Capitalism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Peer-reviewed publications

Hayes, M. (2022) ‘Coloniality and Lifestyle Migration to the Global South,’ in Retirement Migration to the Global South, edited by Cornelia Schweppe, pp. 49-69. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Hayes, M. (2021) ‘New Brunswick’s Rental Housing Crisis: A Call to Action,’ invited essay in Journal of New Brunswick Studies 13(2): 41-49.

Hayes, M. (2021) ‘A Global Sociology of Lifestyle Migrations,’ in International Residential Mobilities: From Lifestyle Migration to Tourism Gentrification, Josefina Dominguez-Mujica, Jennifer McGarrigle, and Juan Manuel Parraño-Castellano (eds), pp. 3-18. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Hayes, M. (2021) “‘Sometimes you gotta get out of your comfort zone”: Active and Successful Aging in Retirement Migration,’ Ageing and Society 41(6): 1221-1239.

Hayes, M. (2020) ‘Mobilités et urbanisme patrimonial : les mobilités mode de vie et leurs implications territoriales,’ Anthropologie et sociétés, 44(2): 147-166.

Hayes, M and Zaban, H. (2020) ‘Transnational Gentrification: the crossroads of mobility and urban research,’ Urban Studies 57(15): 3009-3024.

Hayes, M. (2020). ‘The Coloniality of UNESCO’s Heritage Urban Landscapes: Heritage Process and Transnational Gentrification in Cuenca, Ecuador.’ Urban Studies 57(15): 3060-3077.

Hayes, M. (2019) Comercio informal y derecho a la ciudad: Revitalización urbana, desplazamiento informal, y justicia social. Comercio tradicional y ciudades contemporáneas, Mauricio Velasco Ávalos y David Navarrete Escobedo (eds), pp. 37-62. Querétaro, Mexico: Editorial Mandorla.