‘It’s Work, Physically and Logistically’: Analyzing the Daily Mobility of Employed Mothers as Domestic Mobility Work


Gilow, Marie. 2020. “‘It’s Work, Physically and Logistically’: Analyzing the Daily Mobility of Employed Mothers as Domestic Mobility Work.” Journal of Transport Geography 85 (May): 1-7.

Author: Marie Gilow


“Understanding the interactions between the domestic, family realm and gendered mobilities remains therefore highly relevant for the study of inequalities in daily mobility. Innovative concepts that problematize trips related to the domestic sphere provide valuable tools for such analysis. Several authors have stressed the need to conceptually grasp household-, family- and care related mobility through specific categories such as “domestic mobility” (Coutras, 1997, p. 78), “reproductive mobility labor” (Beik and Spitzner, 1999), or “mobility of care” (Sánchez de Madariaga, 2016, Sánchez de Madariaga, 2013; Zucchini, 2015). Yet, these authors have treated household related trips only from a quantitative point of view, with regards to mobility surveys and the trips motives they take into consideration. This paper builds on such approaches with a qualitative approach, which takes the lived experiences of employed mothers as a starting point. Through a Grounded Theory method, it will develop the concept of Domestic Mobility Work. As the notion of work is key to this concept, we will first briefly review how this term has been used in gender and mobility studies (2). After a brief presentation of the data and the Grounded Theory method (3), we will proceed to the analysis of the interviews (4). Analyzed through the lens of DMW, the testimonies of 45 employed mothers in Brussels will shed light on the logistical and physical labor trips related to the domestic sphere require. As women from different social classes participated in this inquiry, the contrasting testimonies of the interviewees highlight how their class intersects with their gendered role regarding DMW. The paper will conclude with a discussion on how DMW contributes new perspectives to the literature on gender and daily mobility (5)” (Gilow 2020, 1-2).

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

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