Emotions as spatio-temporal intensities: Singlehood, Family and the Singaporean Nation (14722)
This paper analyses Singaporean women’s experiences of singlehood by focusing on the emotional intensities that emerge as the women balance caring for themselves and their parents. Spanning three cities, Singapore, Melbourne and London, the paper focuses on the women’s emotional geographies as they live the kinds of lives they want to live, as well as fulfil their roles as daughters and members of the Singaporean nation who are expected to marry and have children within marriage. The paper conceptualises emotions as spatio-temporally grounded intensities that emerge at the nexus of a valorisation of individual choice, and reification of the disciplining effects of state biopolitics. It draws from existing arguments by feminist geographers on the emotional geographies of care, while also framing care as a relational ethic that requires balancing the needs of the carer alongside the needs of the cared for. Care is recognised not only as physical and financial care, but also as emotional work between the carer and cared for, each desiring what they believe is best for the other. In conceptualising emotions as spatio-temporal intensities, this paper fleshes out the complex and intertwined emotional spatialities of familyhood that align with, but are also more complex than can be captured in the biopolitical framework that sometimes underpins existing literature on the transnational family and transnational care.