Connecting spaces and scales of violence and (in)security

Connecting spaces and scales of violence and (in)security

Kathrin Hörschelmann

Geographers and other scholars in the Social Sciences are increasingly trying to understand how different forms and spaces of violence and (in)security intersect. In particular, scholarship in this field increasingly addresses emotional geographies of in/security at the everyday level of individual subjects, concerning for instance psychological states and embodied experiences (or fears) of violence, senses of safety or feelings of uncertainty. Work on these dimensions of security and insecurity in geography, psychology and the wider social sciences has drawn attention to insecurity as an expression of phenomenological experiences, addressing spaces and scales less frequently considered in scholarship on violence. Thus, feminist researchers have drawn attention to the entanglements between geopolitical and everyday gendered violence.
In my contribution to the workshop, I wish to give a brief review of these debates and consider how they might help us to better understand how different forms, spaces and scales of violence connect in people’s life courses and everyday lives. This could lead to a discussion on the support structures and processes that can be developed on the basis of such an interconnected way of thinking.
Drawing on my own research with marginalized young people in Leipzig on their experiences and understandings of (in)security, I propose to develop approaches to violence that acknowledge the unboundedness of emotions and the long-term impacts of violence experienced in childhood for individuals’ senses of (in)security across the life course. I consider emotions as an embodied medium through which boundaries are crossed, times and places intersect and both spatial intersections and boundary crossings are sensed and negotiated. Emotional geographies are thus a key aspect of the violence continuum, and I make the case for exploring them as part of our efforts to better understand long-lasting embodied experiences and intersecting scales of violence.




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