RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

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267 Family matters (2): lifecourse mobility, health and welfare
Convenor(s) Stephanie Wyse (Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), UK)
Chair(s) Tim Schwanen (University of Oxford, UK)
Timetable Thursday 28 August 2014, Session 4 (16:50 - 18:30)
Room Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Room 121
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2014@rgs.org
Habit shock: Potential modes and moments of engagement with everyday mobilities
Brendan Doody (University of Oxford, UK)
The mobility turn has seen a range of researchers emphasise the necessity of developing a suite of new and innovative methods to better capture and understand life ‘on the move’. Here and elsewhere, scholars informed by ‘non-representational theories’ and theories of practice have questioned whether traditional and conventional methods are capable of apprehending the fleeting and ephemeral, and the habitual and routine. In this paper I examine potential modes and moments of engagement with a range of everyday mobilities. More specifically, my interest is in how research practices can help facilitate moments of ‘habit shock’ where cherished, embodied and unreflexive ways of doing things are contradicted or challenged. In order to develop this account I draw on interview, go-along, and ethnographic materials generated as part of research into local and migrant workers’ commutes in Auckland, New Zealand and London, United Kingdom. Using these materials and my own experiences I suggest there are at least two ways through which research can generate habit shock. First, the times and spaces of the interview and the go-along allow participants and researchers to reflect on their lives, habits and experiences of the materalities and rhythms of the commute. Second, the researcher can help foster participant reflexivity by being attentive to moments of change including the seasons, shifting (house, cities and countries), switching mobility modes and having a family. In concluding, I reflect on how such insights might contribute to existing methodological debates about how to research and understand everyday practices and everyday mobilities.
Transnationalism and reproductive bodies: a gender perspective
Tingyu Kang (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)
Birth tourism is a rising form of transnational flows. Pregnant women choose to give birth overseas in order for their offspring to receive the citizenship of another country. North America is reported to be the most popular destination of this phenomenon while Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Mexico are among the most significant sending countries.

Focusing on the context of Taiwanese women giving birth in California, this study investigates this emerging form of transnational flows in two ways. With regard to macro analysis, this research demonstrates the ways in which nation-states imagine and discipline these travelling bodies through border management. With regard to micro-level analysis, it locates its enquiries in the family sphere. It explores how pregnancy and childbirth is communicated and gazed upon transnationally among family members. The temporal and spatial features of transnational communication shapes the ways in which the communicative power dynamics among family members. Furthermore, it illuminates how internet-mediated communication intervenes in this process transnationally. This research is based on semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and documentary analysis.
Power, Autonomy and Trust in a Caring World?
Sue Sadler (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Claire Hyland (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Frank Reilly (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Experience of a place is as much about how it comes to be produced as it is experienced in the moment. The design process may be exclusionary, setting us in opposition to a place even before it is built. Our use of buildings may be mandated by statutes providing for education or detention, rather than enthusiastic engagement with aesthetics or function. Alternatively, the design of a building may be welcoming, and an inclusive design process may encourage a reciprocal ‘caring’ relationship with the structure or service.

The concept of ‘care’ carries with it notions of responsibility and protection, nurture and empowerment. In designing buildings and services to ‘be safe’, properly constructed, non-hazardous environments, we rarely ask if we lose anything in the process. Do the ‘safeguarding’ and ‘protective’ aspects of building and service design compromise potentially ‘nurturing’ aspects of design that encourage development and growth?
Through the lenses of power, autonomy and trust, we explore tensions between these different aspects of care in the design of spaces and service in three community and institutional settings, challenging assumptions about co-production and caring design.
The function and geography of elderly people’s social network in Sweden – a European comparison
Jenny Olofsson (Umeå University, Sweden)
Gunnar Malmberg (Umeå University, Sweden)
The debate on population ageing has been dominated by reports on heavier support burden and consequences on growth, future pensions, care and socioeconomic conditions in general. In strong welfare states, like Sweden, there are possibilities for families to ensure that their elderly family members are getting support from public care services. As a consequence the geographical distance between generations may be of less importance compared to countries relying more on family based care. De-familialistic regimes can result in weaker family ties and loneliness, but can also change the relations in a network, where family and friends get other more positive roles. The aim of this study is to analyse how different welfare regimes can affect elderly people’s social network and the geographical distance between family members. Focus will be on the size of the elderly´s social networks, proximity, intensity and satisfaction of social contacts and their socio-economic support. This will be done by a comparison of elderly’s social networks in Sweden and other European countries with different welfare regimes and family structures. The study is based on data from wave four of the Social Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and includes individuals fifty years and older.
3D Printing for Development in the Global South
Thomas Birtchnell (University of Wollongong, Australia)
In this presentation Thomas Birtchnell asks the provocative question: will 3D printing alleviate poverty to any meaningful extent in the Global South? he explores ways 3D printing could offer an alternative to the worldwide production and consumption system and allow objects to be made within circular economies. However, queries remain about the ownership of the designs people print, the geopolitics and supply chains of the resources that make up materials for printer feedstock, and the infrastructures printers need to function effectively. Addressing material poverty through 3D printing involves a balancing of inqualities and this presentation considers the merits of development at the press of a 3D printer button.