Home/Bodies: Geographies of Self, Place, and Space

Home/Bodies: Geographies of Self, Place, and Space

Home/Bodies: Geographies of Self, Place, and Space

Home/Bodies: Geographies of Self, Place, and Space


With Home/Bodies, editor Wendy Schissel brings together a diverse range of voices which explore the concepts of home, gender, and identity. The metaphorical geographies of bodies, places, and spaces are the backdrop for such topics as: transgendered identities; young people and sexual health; kinetic art and disability; adolescent girls and consumer society; palliative care for dying loved ones; women and social activism; and aboriginal and multicultural perspectives. Qualitative research methods are referenced throughout, including interviews, case studies, focus groups, and narrative research. Home/Bodies includes contributions by several new-generation feminist scholars and researchers, along with established teachers, researchers, and activists in the academy and the community.


Wendy Schissel

Despite its title, this is not a book on human or physical geography per se, although two chapters are written by geographers. the geographies that the writers in this collection explore are more often metaphorical than physical. the essays that follow are about how we live in and through identities, bodies, places, and spaces in non-linear, incoherent, and fragmented ways.

Our lived environments, physical and conceptual, our desire to feel “at home” for the myriad of reasons and with the many connotations that concept implies, is a theme that runs explicitly or implicitly through these papers. Home is a fluid concept that needs to be constantly “negotiated.” Home is also, variously but not exclusively, a homeland – indigenous or adopted – a sexuality, a body prescribed by moral or ableist codes, cyberspace, a community, or a place where caring occurs, sometimes at substantial cost to the caregiver. On the other hand, it may also be what we are prevented from achieving. the writers in this book talk about the “insider” view and about “embeddedness.” Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that the prevailing methods of research reflected here are qualitative: the authors have employed interviews, focus groups, case studies, and narrative research.

The titles of the subsections of this book also work in metaphorical fashion. They imply, by section, first, that fractures inhere in the very foundations of our social system even though it is the individual who feels the break and its compounding; second, that the materials from which we build a feeling of being at home are tentative at best; and third, that there are some models by which we can build home habitats that are conducive to social and personal health.

In the first section, “Compound Fractures,” three papers speak to the breaks in the socio-political foundations that determine homeland or define sexuality. the fractures are compounded because systemic racism . . .

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