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Mother and daughter ‘homebirds’ and possible selves: generational (dis)connections to locality and spatial identity in South Wales

Mannay, Dawn ORCID: 2014. Mother and daughter ‘homebirds’ and possible selves: generational (dis)connections to locality and spatial identity in South Wales. Vanderbeck, Robert M. and Worth, Nancy, eds. Intergenerational Space, Routledge Studies in Human Geography, London: Routledge, pp. 100-122.

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This chapter builds on previous intergenerational studies of social mobility within the mother–daughter relationship by highlighting the importance of place. Place has become more centralized within recent psychosocial accounts; for example, Walkerdine and Jimenez’s (2012) sensitive analysis of the spatial and temporal aspects of a Welsh de industrialized town and the affective relationships of this marginalized community. However, in order to extend contemporary understandings and inform policy, it remains useful to revisit the mother–daughter relationship and seek to combine spatial identities with psychosocial accounts of everyday lives; couched within the maternal relationship. This chapter is drawn from a four-year Economic and Social Research Council-funded project that took place in a marginalized housing area in urbanized south Wales, United Kingdom. The project employed visual techniques, including collage, mapping and photo-elicitation to explore the everyday lives of mothers and their daughters (Mannay 2010, 2013a). However, in order to move beyond the everyday and examine intergenerational continuities and discontinuities it was important to develop an approach that allowed for retrospective engagement. This chapter discusses the method of positive and negative ‘possible selves’ in which mothers wrote future narratives about the selves that they wanted to become and feared becoming in the future and retrospective narratives about the self that they had wanted to become and feared becoming, from the point of view of being their daughters’ age. The method provided an insight into intergenerational spaces of working-class femininity and raised issues that were unexpected, sensitive and previously unspoken (Mannay 2011, 2013b, 2013c). This chapter presents data from these accounts to demonstrate how employing a ‘possible selves’ approach can engender new understandings about the creative and imaginative practice of being an individual, and the intergenerational legacies that both limit agency and also instigate processes of change. In this way the chapter argues that it remains necessary to continue to engage with social lives at the level of the home, the local, the cultural and the everyday, but also at the level of the psychological: acknowledging the ways in which the past shadows both present and intergenerational futures.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > TR Photography
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender Studies Intergenerational Studies Place Class
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780415855310
Funders: ESRC
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Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 08:39

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