Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143828
Title: ‘I TELL MYSELF I HAVE NO RIGHT TO A SEAT’: PREGNANT WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF MOBILITY ON BOARD PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN SINGAPORE
Authors: GLORIA PANG XIU JING
Keywords: pregnant women, maternity, mobilities, ‘right to the city’, public transport, conviviality, ‘passengering’, Singapore
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: GLORIA PANG XIU JING (2017). ‘I TELL MYSELF I HAVE NO RIGHT TO A SEAT’: PREGNANT WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF MOBILITY ON BOARD PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Singapore’s Global City aspirations have played a key role in espousing motherhood, the ideal ‘productive citizen’, and in the past decade, a vision of a car-lite city. In spite of attempts to ameliorate mobility difficulties pregnant women face on board public transport, absent from discourse are narratives of pregnant women's lived experiences of mobility in the city. This thesis aims to redress this gap by using travel diaries and semi-structured interviews to elicit pregnant women’s accounts of mobility. In so doing, it marries literature from the geographies of maternity and geographies of mobility, and attempts to dispel the monolithic figure of the urban inhabitant through attending to pregnant women’s subjectivity. I ground my analysis with a focus on mobile encounters and tactics of ‘passengering’, given that they are central to experiences of mobility. This thesis employs the concepts of ‘conviviality’ and ‘passengering’ to elucidate the nature of mobile encounters, and sees public transport spaces as meaningful sites heralding opportunity for convivial urban life. I also draw on the notion of ‘passengering’ to highlight the unique embodied capacities of pregnant women and fellow passengers on board public transport. Moreover, the practice of ‘passengering’ involves actions undertaken before and during the principal duration of commute. I explore these tactics to understand how pregnant women enable themselves to be mobile passengers. Apart from an empirical analysis, this thesis builds on my empirical findings to contribute to debates on the ‘right to the city’, conceptualised by Lefebvre in 1968. I seek to redress an absence of gender from theorising the urban, and argue that the ‘right to the city’ must be understood as relational, and take into account the role of emotions and embodied capacities — physical or otherwise. Furthermore, the struggle for one’s ‘right to the city’ can occur to quotidian practices, and does not necessitate a rejection of the state or capital. Finally, I posit that the ‘right to the city’ should account for situated urban contexts, instead of being a universal ‘rallying cry’.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143828
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