Reflections on the variations and spatialities of (un)welcome – commentary to Gill
In this reflection, we seek to develop some of Professor Gill’s inspiring ideas on the notion of (un)welcome further. We do this, in particular, by problematizing his largely dualistic conception of the emotionally-invested, inter-personal forms of welcome contra a bureaucratic tendency to abstract welcome, to hollow it out emotionally. We argue that if applied too rigidly, this dichotomy can be unwieldy for making sense of the actual socio-spatial and emotional dynamics of (un)welcome. To elaborate this criticism, we expand on the notion of welcome from three interrelated perspectives. First, we argue that besides the opposite poles of people who welcome refugees, and forces that attempt to exclude them, great many actors convey more ambiguous and contextually varying attitudes to (un)welcoming immigrants. In the light of Lefebvre’s conceptual triad of social space, we next point out that Gill’s conceptualization pays inadequate heed to the practiced and societally recompensing aspects of everyday spatiality and welcoming. Finally, we take a cue from Gill’s suggestion to analyze welcome from the emotional geographies perspective, and reflect on exclusionary and inclusionary socio-spatial processes related to refugees’ emotions (lived space) and coping tactics (practiced space).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with FENNIA agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The license of the published metadata is Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a doctoral dissertation or book compilation), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).