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Motherhood, mobility and materiality: Material entanglements, journey-making and the process of 'becoming mother

Boyer, Kate ORCID: and Spinney, Justin ORCID: 2016. Motherhood, mobility and materiality: Material entanglements, journey-making and the process of 'becoming mother. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34 (6) , pp. 1113-1131. 10.1177/0263775815622209

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This paper is about the entanglements or mutually affecting engagements with the material world that occur in the course of trying to becoming mobile with a small baby. Drawing on a rigorous empirical base of 37 interviews with 20 families in East London, we analyse the relationships between discourses of parenting and the material practices of journey-making. Bringing together conceptual work on the new materialism and mobility studies, we advance the concept of mother–baby assemblages as a way to understand mobile motherhood, and consider the emotional and affective dimensions of parenting in public that emerge through journey-making. We argue that the transition to motherhood occurs in part through entanglements with the more than human in the course of becoming mobile (including matter, affects, policies and built form). We further argue that approaching motherhood from the perspective of material entanglements advances geographical scholarship by deepening our understanding of mobility as a relational practice. Finally, we extend conceptual work in Geography as a whole by showing the utility of new materialist philosophy as a means for theorising identity

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mothering, subjectivity, parenting practice, mobility, embodiment, materiality, new materialism, mother–baby assemblages
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policies at (accessed 18.3.16). Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0263-7758
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 19:44

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