Home is Here and There and Nowhere - Academic Nomads in the Digital Age

Authors: Jenny Jansdotter*, Karlstad University
Topics: Migration, Immigration/Transnationalism, Social Geography
Keywords: Place-making, home, white migration, mobility, media
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Balcony L, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

While there is a considerable volume of research on global labor migrants and various forms of forced migration, considerations such as communication, spatial distance, place-making and “home” and belonging among high-profile migrants remain more limited. Based on a qualitative study on globally mobile professional academics in the human and social sciences, this paper problematizes the notion of home and belonging in relation to work and close relations. The intertwining of the personal and the professional in media spaces is one aspect of the affective nature of academic work, as work is being performed as a means of self realization and source of satisfaction (Gregg 2013). Therefor mobile media technologies represent a consoling constant and source of affirmation that can grant a sense of stability and belonging in the world, privately and professionally. There is an emotional ambiguity managing a mobile lifestyle where notion of home is manifold – or at least twofold. Home is always that place where you grew up, but it is a figuration of relationships to humans and non-human actors (e.g. animals, artefacts and non-visible albeit lived relationships) that you take with you. It is argued that scholars express a need to reconnect to the global home. Redefinitions of home, belonging and intimacy are made as pertaining to relational spaces - of and in between the here and now and media spaces.

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