We are inviting submissions of abstracts for the session outlined below for the Royal Geographic Society Annual Conference (26-29 August 2014), cosponsored by the Gender and Feminist Geography Research Group (GFGRG) and the Transport Geography Research Group (TGRG).
‘KEEPING IN TOUCH WHEN WORK TAKES US APART.’ UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF WORK RELATED TRAVEL.
Based on the assumption that mobility and travel will remain part of many employment sectors well into the future, this session is concerned with understanding the impact of workers’ absence on the household and family life, the mechanisms of communications between the absent worker and family members at home, and the forms of communication. How are information and communication technologies (e.g. phone calls, Skype, text, tweets and other SNS postings) deployed to connect back home; what are the types of connections that ICTs afford and what are the limitations? How do the debates around technological substitution for face-to-face interaction in the work-place inform the absent worker – home connection? What is different about sending letters, postcards, objects, and word-of-mouth messages in this context? What opportunities might there be for conveying more than words in the way communication is facilitated digitally or materially? It also brings into question the long term sustainability of work related travel, not only from an environmental perspective but the social sustainability of family life, and the trade-offs between careers, opportunities, and lifestyle.
This call anticipates papers exploring at least one of, but not limited to, the following areas: · Theorising absence and presence · Perspectives of work related mobility across the ages, and its future. · Mechanisms of communication, including critical analysis of technological affordances · Policies of work-life balance · Family practices and gender roles.
Please send your abstract (250 words) by 6 February 2014 to
(Further information about the conference can be found at www.rgs.org/ac2014).