News & Events

Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Marie Gilow (METICES, ULB)

6 November 2019 , Geography Dept., room F 4.66 (VUB - Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Building F) from 12.00h to 13.30h

“It’s work, physically and logistically”: Analyzing the daily mobility of employed mothers as Domestic Mobility Work

Gender differences in spatial everyday mobility have a major impact on women’s and men’s daily lives. Despite women’s massive integration into the labor market in Western societies, the division of labor within the private and caring realm still follows gendered norms, leading women to be in charge of the biggest share of trips serving the domestic sphere, such as child escorting or grocery shopping but also visits to family members in need for care. This unequal share of household and family related trips between the sexes has been largely analyzed in Western cultural settings. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by conceptualizing these trips as a form of labor: Domestic Mobility Work. DMW as a concept emerged from empirical data which consists of interviews carried out with 45 women living with young children and working in Brussels region (Belgium), and builds on authors who have theorized the invisibilization of household and family related trips. This concept highlights the logistical and physical labor that DMW requires, and therefore sheds light on, up to now, unseen aspects of household and family related mobility. As women from different social classes participated in this inquiry, an intersectional approach shows how their class defines their DMW just as much as their gendered role.

Bio speaker:

Marie Gilow recently finished her PhD research on the everyday mobility of employed mothers in Brussels. Her analysis focused on household and family related trips, conceptualized as Domestic Mobility Work, and class inequalities between women regarding their everyday mobility. She is currently preparing a research project on children’s independent spatial mobility.

Her research interests include gender and class intersections in daily mobility, car dependency, children’s independent mobility and gender bias in mobility and transport research