The heterogenous timescapes of global mobilities

Year: 2019

Author: Higginson, Joanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Karen Olwig draws on Ernest Bloch's experiential and affective ideas of "non-synchronous" lived time - that "Not all people live in the same Now" to encourage a consideration of the "timescapes" at work in migration trajectories. I use Olwig's work, which examines the Victorian nursing infused narratives of West Indian nurses who migrated as student nurses to Britain in between 1950 and 1970, to analyse the narrative, life history interviews within my PhD project: Globally mobile lives and suburban schools.I look especially at my parent participants' narratives of contemporary global mobility. My participants make salient reflexive, narrative and affective links to colonial and labour migration and mobilities within previous generations of their families, as well as their own experiences of previous decades of globalisation related mobility, to narrate and make sense of their own histories of movement and migration. I argue that working with useful globalisation theories and concepts - such as Michael Burawoys ideas of "global forces, global connections and global imaginaries" and Arjun Appadurai's ideas about imagination and the future, can be enriched by a consideration of historical and intergenerational dynamics, reflexive nostalgia (Boym) and "the heterogenous timescapes of global mobilities".