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Fragile synchronicities: diverse, disruptive and constraining rhythms of employment-related geographical mobility, paid and unpaid work in the Canadian context

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Household, journey-to-work, and workplace dynamics intersect and are diverse and changing. These intersections contribute to gendered, classed, and racialized divisions of labour at home, at work, and on the road. Research on journeys-to-work has generally focused on journeys that happen daily, follow similar routes, at similar times, and involve travel to a single, fixed workplace. Time geography has shared some of this focus in its attention to fixity and constraints that shape these kinds of movements in time and space. However, change and disruption in home lives, journeys-to-work and in the location and scheduling of work are widespread. Feminist intersectional rhythmanalysis may be better equipped to address these. This article draws on insights from a body of Canadian research captured here in the form of 5 vignettes that describe intersecting home, work, environmental and employment-related geographical mobility (E-RGM) rhythms and some of their consequences across diverse groups, sectors and contexts. The vignettes are derived from research among trucking, construction, seafood processing, homecare, and precariously employed urban immigrant workers. We focus on groups engaging in complex, extended and often changing E-RGM to and within work. The vignettes highlight ways diverse gendered, classed and some racialized spatio-temporal rhythms of work, E-RGM, weather and seasons, and household lives intersect to disrupt and, as we move through the vignettes, increasingly constrain the capacity of these diverse groups of workers and their households to achieve even fragile synchronicities, reflecting the extension of coercion beyond the workplace into life at home and work-related mobilities.
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Keywords: Canada; employment-related geographical mobility; journey-to-work; rhythmanalysis; time geography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; 2: Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong,; 3: Department of Sociology, Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada; 4: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada; 5: School of Labour Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; 6: Department of Sociology, Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada

Publication date: August 3, 2018

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