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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Being at Home While Away (Guest Lecture).docx

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Geography 2144A/B
L.Graham Smith

Lecture 8 – Being at Home While Away Guest Lecture • Confusion will dis-place your old ways of thinking and allows you to see things in a new light • Michel Foucault and Yi-Fu Taun Away • Why do we travel? o To escape, to explore, reunite with others, learn of other culture o We travel to get away from home, change the mundane, see something else! o To experience the ‘other’  cultures, cities, sounds, sights, tastes, emerge yourself in a totally different place etc. o To see ‘the world’ o To expand our individual ‘horizons’  • What is Travel? o Temporary separation from families, friends, that remain back home o Movement in geographic space, in between places o Geographic distance from home o We leave home behind to travel into the world • Technology allows individuals to be ‘socially present’ while being ‘physically absent’ o Known as Absent Presence • Before: distance played a vital role, contact affected by speed & reliability of communication (Network was severed with people back home) • Now: no problem with contact; distance does not play a role – internet, cell phones, facebook, blogs (can remain active in our networks) • So, do we ever actually leave home and escape? o If we are always in contact with our usual networks, are we actually gone? o Depends on what kind of traveller you are and what kind of trip you are going on (backpacking vs going to a hotel) Home • What does it mean when we say we are at home? o Comfort, friends, routine, familiarity, roots, o Shelter (material) o Social relationships (symbolic) o Located: thresholds between memory & nostalgia, everday life in the present, and future dreams and fears – Blunt & Varley o Site: of domesticity & consumption (politics: struggle or resistance) o Fixed, bounded & confining (rootedness); but also fluid, evolving, liberating • Multiple Meanings (Sommerville, 1992) o Shelter – physical security o Hearth – relaxation, comfort and a place to welcome friends o Heart – support, stability and affection o Privacy – central part of being at home – control can lead to privatism (withdrawal from public life and into the home negative aspect) o Roots – identity & meaningfulness – somewhere we return and identify with o Adobe – any place where one can sleep and rest o Paradise – idealization of all positive features (ideological construct) • Scale o Individual: Home (sense of belonging, identity & rootedness) o Nation: Homeland (diasporic communities – emotional and physical connection to homeland  immigrants, refugees) • Housing design: not just neutral containers, a reflection of our social values, practices and norms o Feminist geographers argue that homes can be read like maps of social structures and values (home vs wigwam type home) o Privacy – much more privacy today o Occupants - ton of people in small area before, place for woman and man o Use of space – compartmentalize spaces today o Home & work – there is a separation from reproduction and production o However – work criticized for being overly simplistic and environmentally deterministic (ignored complex social relationships) • Hom
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