Trans-forming places, trans-itioning lives: Rethinking methodological approaches to studying trans-itions in a deindustrializing city

Year: 2019

Author: Mayes, Eve, Moss, Julianne, Kelly, Merinda, Rawolle, Shaun, Paatsch, Louise, Mobayed, Yasmin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper works with the concept of trans-itionsto rethink approaches to exploring local/ global dynamics at work in the deindustralising city of Geelong. The concept of transition has conventionally been associated with developmental movements through time –transitions from home to early childhood education, primary schooling, secondary schooling, and post-schooling education, training and work. The notion of transitionhas been critiqued for its normative assumptions of ‘linearity and choice’ (te Riele, 2004, p. 243), and retheorized to encompass ‘multiple and intersecting temporal regimes’ (McLeod, 2017, p. 16).

We extend this previous work to consider the multiplicity of biographical, spatial, temporal, material and affective trans-formations at work in these changing times. Responding to recent calls for ecological approaches to supporting individuals and communities as local/global economies and labour markets shift and change (National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transitions, 2019), we draw on feminist, queer and trans- theories that shift the focus ‘from a being or a thing to intensities and movement’ (Springgay & Truman, 2017, p. 46). This chapter explores trans-itionsbeyond anthropocentric attention to biographical life-course transitions of individuals, and beyond an ontological separation of human bodies from time, space and matter. It is not only humans who are undergoing transitions: local and global markets, the nature of work, cities, educational spaces, environments, and collective affective intensities are also engaged in ongoing trans-itions, and affect and are affected by each other. We explore some methodological possibilities associated with such a reconceptualization, that work across ‘local’ and ‘global’ imaginaries, with bodies in trans-ition between spaces/ places (home/ school/ community), and with the erasures and memories of deindustrialization/ reindustrialization. This work is done to support a rethinking of what education and schooling might be and not be in cities where deindustrialization is shaking lived futures.


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te Riele, K. (2004). Youth transition in Australia: Challenging assumptions of linearity and choice. Journal of Youth Studies, 7(3), 243-257. Retrieved from []. doi:10.1080/1367626042000268908