Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (6): 1252-1266.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201906013

• Culture and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The emotional reconstruction and spatial practices of mobilizing family: A perspective from mobility

TAO Wei1,2,3,CAI Shaoyan1,2,3,YU Xiaochen1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. Centre for Cultural Industry and Cultural Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    3. Center for Sustainable Development of Rural and Town in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Marco Greater Bay Area, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2018-02-23 Revised:2019-04-15 Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-06-20
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China(18ZDA161);Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(41630635);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41271178)


Along with the unprecedented breadth and intensity of migrating activities motivated by the increasing mobility, family (as one of the most significant and nearly the smallest geographical unit) migration has become the most important pattern of migration in China, and in so doing the migration studies related to family has also been identified as an unreplaceable topic in mobility studies. Accompanied with this wave of family migration, in particular in the context of China's new urbanization, an increasing number of scholarships have intensively focused on the topics themed on migrated family's spatial practices and their emotional belongings. In the process of migrated family's mobilities, the meaning of the space "home" has been being continuously contested by the practices of mobilized families. By using the theoretical perspective of mobility, as well as the research line of the geography of home, this paper adopts the methods of qualitative and comparative case study (based on two typical cases of migrated families) to discuss the impact of migration on the mobilizing families' spatial practices and emotional reconstruction. The main finding indicates that the temporality, spatiality and placeness are several very important variables and dimensions of the study of mobility. As a fundamental ruler for characterizing the mobility, the multi-displacement spatiality of the flowing trajectory and the multi-stage temporality of the flowing process make the locality of the home being in a status of dynamic correlation. In this regard, the emotional belonging of home and the concept and the meaning of home are prolonged and reconstructed in the process of family migrations and related family-making practices. This empirical article provides a vivid description of local practices for the geography of "home" in China, and hopefully it can be contributed to promoting the theoretical progress of geography of home.

Key words: mobilizing family, mobility, the geography of home, spatial practices, emotional belonging