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Geographical imaginations of globalization and home: the production of ontological (in)security in a cross-generational comparison

Authors: Ilse Helbrecht*, Humboldt University Berlin, Carolin Genz, Humboldt University Berlin
Topics: Political Geography, Population Geography, Europe
Keywords: geographical imaginations, globalization, ontological security, generations
Session Type: Paper
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This paper scrutinizes the effects of globalization, geopolitical restructurings and, thereby, the ongoing re-figuration of spaces in the making of new subjectivities. It is part of a larger, comparative research project on geographical imaginations of ontological security and insecurity in Berlin (Germany), Van-couver (Canada) and Singapore. Inspired by feminist geopolitics, we deploy an embodied perspective. Based on focus groups and qualitative interviews in Berlin (Germany), we empirically explore the extent to which the increase in spatial complexities and re-figuration of spaces is expressed in security-related geographical imaginations. By focusing on a cross-generational comparison, we are particularly inter-ested in the ways different age cohorts - and, thus, even generations - perceive and conceptualize the relationship between space and security differently according to their respective upbringing, socio-spatial circumstances and biographic experiences. Employing the visual methodology of photo-elicitation in interviews and focus groups with 15-30 year-olds, 35-50 year-olds and 55-70 year-olds, we shed light on the emotional and affective dimension of security-related spatial knowledge and the ef-fects of age and ageing. The research shows the relevance of age groups for intersectional scrutiny of subjective experiences of space, place and home. Through a cross-generational comparison of age effects, statements can be made, how geographic imaginations and subjective emotions of (in)security are transformatively changing through space-time.

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