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Title: Bodies over borders : trans-sizing the expatriate experience
Authors: LLoyd, Jennifer Anne
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis introduces the concept of trans-sizing to explore the discursive, embodied and relational experiences of expatriate women in Singapore, and the multiple ways that body size and migration experiences intersect within different spaces in the city. The thesis is based on empirical research with women living in Singapore who identified themselves as expatriates. The focus of this study is upon the ways that experiences of body size shape narrations of migration. I explore this relationship through discursive constructions, embodied and emotional experiences and relational encounters. I argue that body size is spatially contingent and significant to the way that identity, difference and migration are imagined and narrated within the city. Furthermore, I argue that narrations of body size are constructed through gendered, medicalised, classed and racialised discourses that divide women from different places. The study explores the multiple ways that experiences of body size and migration intersect in social and cultural spaces within Singapore. I situate this research in the intersections of geographical work on migration and the interdisciplinary field of Fat Studies. In so doing, I highlight the centrality of body size as an axis of identity that is inherently geographical (Longhurst, 2005). Drawing on an in-depth analysis of 45 individual interviews and one focus group, the study values the words and experiences of expatriate women, providing a nuanced and innovative approach to explorations of migration, gender and body size. By developing the concept of trans-sizing, this research responds to the need for cross-cultural approaches to critical work on body size (Cooper, 2009), the gendered nature of expatriate migration (Fechter and Walsh, 2012), and embodied studies of transnationalism (Dunn, 2010), and contributes to the growing body of work that explores body size from a critical and spatial perspective (Colls and Evans, 2009).
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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