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Transnational Geographies of The Heart: Intimate Subjectivities in a Globalising City




Transnational Geographies of The Heart: Intimate Subjectivities in a Globalising City

Katie Walsh

ISBN: 978-1-119-05044-5 April 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 192 Pages



Transnational Geographies of the Heart explores the spatialisation of intimacy in everyday life through an analysis of intimate subjectivities in transnational spaces.

  • Draws on ethnographic research with British migrants in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during a phase of rapid globalisation and economic diversification in 2002-2004
  • Highlights the negotiation of inter-personal relationships as enormously significant in relation to the dialectic of home and migration
  • Includes four empirical chapters focused on the production of ‘expatriate’ subjectivities, community and friendships, sex and romance, and families
  • Demonstrates that a critical analysis of the geographies of intimacy might productively contribute to our understanding of the ways in which intimate subjectivities are embodied, emplaced, and co-produced across binaries of public/private and local/global space 

Series Editor’s Preface vi

Acknowledgements vii

1 Introduction 1

2 Geographies of Intimacy 23

3 A Globalising Gulf Region and the British in Dubai 45

4 British ‘Expatriate’ Subjectivities in Dubai 65

5 ‘Community’, Clubs and Friendship 85

6 Sex, Desire and Romance in the Globalising City 106

7 Migration, Domesticity and ‘Family Life’ 126

8 Our Intimate Lives 145

References 155

Index 172

‘A lively, thought-provoking examination of intimate and transnational subjectivities. Drawing on careful ethnographic research, a rich picture is developed of the complexities of intimacy for British expatriates in Dubai. The analysis is insightful, and the volume makes a significant and distinctive contribution to our understanding of migration and transnational life.’
David Conradson, Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

‘Intimacy is so thickly woven into our individual and social lives that it is extremely difficult to pick apart conceptually, particularly in the hyper-mobile and globalised settings of contemporary life. Transnational Geographies of the Heart directly addresses this challenge by exploring the intimacy concept in relationship to mobility. In this absorbing and erudite book, Walsh develops a much needed language with which to explore the textures of intimacy – deeply under acknowledged in the migrant literature - as they are enacted and negotiated in one of today’s least studied but most globalised cities. In doing so, Walsh delivers a ground-breaking work that highlights the significance of geographical analysis in understanding the spatialisation of intimate subjectivities and the importance of place – defined through multiple sites of belonging within complex postcolonial and racialised contexts – in shaping our inter-personal relationships.’ 
Loretta Baldassar, School of Social Sciences, University of Western Australia