We are pleased to share our thoughts on unpacking ‘family troubles’, care and relationality across time and space in our editorial (2019) to accompany the exciting special section of Children’s Geographies that resulted from our Family Troubles Symposium, held at the University of Reading. Through this piece and the special section, we unpack time-space dynamics of ‘family troubles’ in diverse contexts, with a particular focus on care and relationality. We seek to establish an agenda for future geographical work and interdisciplinary dialogue on ‘family troubles’, vulnerabilities and social suffering in contexts of (troubling) changes and diversity. Such analyses are crucial in our efforts to envision a more relational understanding of our ‘being-in-the-world’, underpinned by care ethics and support for differentially positioned family members throughout the lifecourse and across generations.
Ruth recently presented a paper, ‘”Your tears are like pouring hot water on the body”: exploring religious and cultural influences on responses to death in urban Senegal’ in the Geographies of Faith, Spirituality and Religion session (organised by Claire Dwyer, Ruth Judge and Elizabeth Olsen) at the 5th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies. The paper focused on tears and the expression of emotions in responses to death in the family in urban Senegal, based on our preliminary findings. We also sought to interrogate our cultural assumptions about religious and cultural norms surrounding mourning and the expression of grief. We found it helpful to analyse our findings through the framings of emotional geographies and geographies of religion and received thoughtful questions and comments from colleagues.