Research

I am especially intrigued by 'home': everyday home making practices and lived domestic space, the relation between housing and home, and the entanglement of our home lives with relatedness, intimacy and personal life.

Running through my work is a concern with the mobilities, temporalities and materialities through which home is lived and imagined. Methodologically I am most engaged with in depth ethnographic approaches to home involving domestic material culture and repeat interviewing. I am currently engaged with the following research projects:

1. Post-divorce/separation family life: families who have adopted shared-care, lone-parent or co-parenting arrangements, and children's experiences of having more than one home, are inadequately reflected in popular culture and obscured by heternormative policy narratives. With Denise Turner, I am developing research to understand the everyday family life of such families. 

2. British return migrants in later life: in an ongoing project, I am collecting life-stories from British returnees, focusing on narratives of home, belonging, ageing and the life-course. This project pays particular attention to domesticity, exploring the way in which people's sense of belonging aged 65+ is shaped by their experiences of diaspora and using material culture analysis and participatory visual methods. 

  • The first publication from this project, a chapter based on a single life-story, has been published in Transnational Migration and Home in Older Age (2016, Routledge) co-edited with Lena Nare, University of Helsinki. A Special Issue of Identities co-edited with Lena Nare and Loretta Baldassar is forthcoming in 2017. These publications draw on two workshops on transnational migration and ageing we held in Helsinki: an ESF-funded workshop held in 2012 and a double session in the ETMU programme in 2014. 
  • With Russell King and Dora Sampaio, I am editing a Special Issue of Area exploring the geographies of ageing and migration.  
  • With Pauline Leonard (University of Southampton) I am editing a volume on British Migration.   

3. GCC migration. My doctoral research explored British migrant identities in Dubai (ESRC funded, 2001-2005). In this research, I examined the negotiation of home and belonging through cultural practices of domesticity, intimacy, and national identity. 

  • I have published widely on this research and am currently completing a monograph focused on intimate subjectivities.
  • In a postdoctoral project (RGS Small Research Grant 2006), I extended this focus to the wider GCC region, more specifically Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Abu Dhabi. The findings are published in this article on comparative research on transnational belonging: "Placing Transnational Migrants through Comparative Research: British Migrant Belonging in Five GCC Cities." Popul. Space Place, 20 (2014): 1–17. doi: 10.1002/psp.1798.
  • With Pardis Mahdavi and Filippo Osella, I am editing a Special Issue of JEMs based on three BRISMES conference sessions on Migration and Gulf subjectivities held in 2014.