Home along the way: community and belonging in the life of location-independent families
(Universitat de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines the ways location-independent families (LIF) negotiate their idea of home and belonging while traveling the world with their children. Drawing on digital ethnography and interviews, it explores the role played by digital tools as main catalysts of socialization.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines the ways location-independent families (LIF) negotiate their idea of home and belonging while traveling the world with their children. Location-independence is a form of lifestyle mobility based on the possibility of running an online business from anywhere in the world and the choice to worldschool the children, a growing alternative education practice based on immersive, experiential learning. Many location-independent families document their journeys through a variety of digital media: personal websites, blogs, podcasts and social media forums. These tools, initially a means to share the family journey and inspiring other people to adopt this lifestyle, become the main catalysts of socialization, not aimed at people who are physically proximate, but rather share the same values and lifestyle.
Drawing on an examination of families' stories based on in-depth interviews and digital ethnography, including analysis of online materials, the paper illustrates how LIFs' imagination of home and belonging is not bound to a static, fixed, geographical place but takes a contextual and processual dimension, as social process and lived experience.
Creating locality in mobile times: intimacy, friendship and belonging between digital and physical co-presence [ANTHROMOB]