Presentation Title

Qualitative Mental Mapping: Methodological Considerations for Migration Studies

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Abstract or Description

This paper seeks to advocate the use of qualitative mental mapping as an innovative method for understanding migrant's complex relationship to home. Through the method of mental mapping, scholars of migration can further unpack the complexity of "home" from something that at times can seem quite abstract to one firmly grounded in place. This study is based on fieldwork conducted on the island of Barbuda in the Lesser Antilles Caribbean in the summers of 2008-2010, where I utilized 46 mental-mapping exercises followed by semi-structured interviews. It was through the follow-up interviews, Barbudans living abroad often expressed feelings of immobility and isolation upon return, as well as attachment to certain places on the island that evoked a sense of "Barbudaness."


American Association of Geographers Annual Conference (AAG)


Los Angeles, CA