Mothers in the making? Exploring liminality in cyber/space

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Abstract:

This paper makes a case for cyberspace and geographical space coexisting simultaneously as an interconnected dyadic cyber/space combining the virtually real and the actually real. Based on empirical evidence from a study examining the role of the Internet in the life of new mothers, we investigate the simultaneity of online/onsite experiences through an exploration of cyberspace as a performative liminal space, one where the women ‘tried out’ different versions of motherhood. We suggest that liminality, as a concept that can denote both a space and time of ‘betweenness’, is a useful tool in the virtual geographers ‘conceptual handbag’ as it enables a more lively understanding of cyberspace. But although cyberspace can result in the production of new selves, these selves have residual attachments to embodied experiences and practices. This suggests that new theorizing about cyber/space must combine a consideration of liminality with everyday corporeality.

Keywords: Internet; corporeality; cyber/space; liminality; women

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2005.00153.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, Email: cm@le.ac.uk 2: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH 12

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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