Emotional citizenry: everyday geographies of befriending, belonging and intercultural encounter

Askins, K. (2016) Emotional citizenry: everyday geographies of befriending, belonging and intercultural encounter. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 41(4), pp. 515-527. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12135)

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This paper develops the concept of emotional citizenry, as exceeding a fixed status of citizenship to be achieved in the formal political sphere, rather as a process grounded in the complexities of places, lives and feelings. Drawing on encounters between refugees, asylum seekers and more settled residents in a befriending scheme in Newcastle, England, it focusses on the emotional geographies of intercultural interactions, produced through everyday spaces. Contact in the scheme involves difficult negotiations of difference, yet it is precisely the emotional that opens up the potential of/for making connections, through which nuanced relationships develop, dualisms are destabilised, and meaningful encounters emerge in fragile yet hopeful ways. I argue that these emotional encounters evidence desires to (re)make society at the local level, beyond normalised productions and practices of citizenship as bounded in/outsiders, in which a politics of engagement is enacted. Analysis suggests that the felt, interpersonal dimensions of such praxis, the emotionality of these specific notions belonging and relationality, push at the concept of cosmopolitan citizenship to register something more. This paper contributes to debate on everyday practices of citizenship as already taking place, and poses questions to how individual relations may anticipate collective change in how we live together in an era of super-diversity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Askins, Dr Kye
Authors: Askins, K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN (Online):1475-5661
Published Online:30 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41(4): 515-527
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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