In public health and sustainable transport campaigns, walking is positioned as an important way families can become more active, fit and spend quality time together. However, few studies specifically examine how family members move together on-foot and how this is constitutive of individual and collective familial identities. Combining the notion of a feminist ethics of care with assemblage thinking, the chapter offers the notion of the familial walking assemblage as a way to consider the careful doing of motherhood, childhood and family on-foot. Looking at the walking experiences of mothers and children living in the regional city of Wollongong, Australia, the chapter explores how the provisioning and enactment of care is deeply embedded in the becoming of family on-the-move. The chapter considers interrelated moments of care – becoming prepared, together, watchful, playful, ‘grown up’ and frustrated – where mothers and children make sense of and enact their familial subjectivities. It is through these moments that the family as a performative becoming, that is always in motion, becomes visible. The chapter aims to provide further insights into the embodied experience of walking for families in order to better inform campaigns which encourage walking.
Thank you to the families who participated in the research, shared their experiences and allowed me to come along on their daily journeys for a little while. Thank you to Professor Gordon Waitt and Professor Ian Buchanan for their guidance and inspiration throughout this research project. I also acknowledge the Wodi Wodi as the traditional custodians of Dharawal Country, where this research took place, and pay respect to elders, past, present and future for their ongoing care of country.
This research was conducted with the support of an Australian Government Research Training Programme Scholarship.
Clement, S. (2019), "Families On-foot: Assembling Motherhood and Childhood Through Care", Murray, L., McDonnell, L., Hinton-Smith, T., Ferreira, N. and Walsh, K. (Ed.) Families in Motion: Ebbing and Flowing through Space and Time, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 215-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-415-620191013Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019 Susannah Clement