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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
February 1, 2022

Nora Kottmann studies family practices of highly mobile, multi-local families


A new, open access article by DIJ principal researcher Nora Kottmann explores the relationship between “doing family”, mobilities, and space through a focus on expatriate families. “‘Doing family’ on a global stage. German expatriates in southern Tokyo” (Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, 52-1, 2021) draws on long term ethnographic fieldwork, including a variety of qualitative methods like interviews, conversations, and auto-ethnographic accounts. Utilizing the concepts of “doing family” the article asks: how and where do these highly mobile individuals do family? The analysis shows that approaches to doing family as well as the ensuing practices are diverse and dependent on various factors. It also reveals the emergence of key practices, including “displays” of family, that are highly structured by gender. Overall, the findings show the need for place-, space- and context-sensitive analyses even among a group of highly mobile families. This article is an outcome of Nora’s research project Relationships in motion: Doing belonging on a global stage.