Chapter 3: On conjunctures in transnational lives: linear time, relative mobility and individual experience
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This chapter examines the spatio-temporal constitution of families from Cape Verde that are divided by migration. How does transnational family life unfold in time and space, and how does it matter to questions of power, agency and experience? The chapter starts from the premise that time and space are inseparable aspects of the transnational, but makes the case for addressing the two in contrasting ways. Time should be appreciated as a linear and measurable dimension, even as other perspectives dominate the temporal turn in migration research. Space, by contrast, should not be seen primarily as an abstract dimension, since the spatial aspect of migration and transnationalism is primarily about engagement with specific places. These arguments underpin a view of mobility as separations and unifications with people and places, rather than as movement across space. The chapter refers to this as ‘relative mobility’ and shows how it produces conjunctures at specific times in transnational lives. The analysis draws upon a study of childhood and motherhood in Cape Verdean families, and makes connections from the time-geography of Torsten Hägerstrand to contemporary research on transnationalism. Keywords: transnational families, time geography, linear time, place, relative mobility, Cape Verde

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