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Journal Article

Accounting for care within human geography

MPS-Authors
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Samanani,  Farhan
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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OA_Samanani_2021_Accounting.pdf
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Citation

Middleton, J., & Samanani, F. (2021). Accounting for care within human geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 46(1), 29-43. doi:10.1111/tran.12403.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-42E8-7
Abstract
Human geography has experienced a burgeoning interest in care. Despite this, the more radical potentials of thinking with, and through, care remain largely unex- plored. In this paper, we critically examine one such potential, asking how care might facilitate a substantial rethinking of practices of research and analysis within human geography. We argue that care does not simply name practices of social reproduction or emotional attachment, but is a distinct mode of ethics, both visible in the social world and capable of infor ming academic practice. We ask what it means to recognise everyday accounts as acts of care, and to analyse these same accounts through an ethic of care where knowledge, action, relating to others, and the shaping of ethical commitment are inextricably intertwined. While, typically, everyday accounts are seen as about some sort of underlying meaning or dynamic, we suggest that such accounts need to be understood as parts of efforts to navigate and remake social worlds. We unfold our argument by first tracing how care has been understood and analysed within human geography as a shifting and situated social practice. Building on, but moving beyond, such approaches, we examine social worlds as “matters of care,” where everyday understandings and the potential for action and ethical commitment are not only continually negotiated but are also staunchly kept open to new possibilities. Through the close reading of extracts from indepth interviews with firsttime par- ents in the city of Oxford, UK, we illustrate how care offers a committed practice of knowing and relating within research. We argue this approach provides new ways of thinking about geographical research, where primary research, analysis, and scholarly narratives are all implicated in the remaking of everyday worlds that, in turn, reveal a new terrain of political potentiality. Drawing on in-depth interviews with first-time parents in the city of Oxford, we offer a critical examination of how notions of care can transform practices of research and analysis within human geography. We argue care offers a committed practice of knowing and relating within research where data collection, analysis, and scholarly narratives are all implicated in the remaking of everyday worlds that, in turn, reveal a new terrain of political potentiality.