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  • Author or Editor: Mary Holmes x
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We share findings from a qualitative study on emotions in Scottish working-class households during lockdown. The results challenge existing research focused on emotional capital, which often suggests that working-class people struggle to provide emotional resources to those close to them. Using the concept of emotional reflexivity we show how these household members cared for each other’s feelings, challenging deficit views of working-class emotionality. This research offers a novel understanding of working-class participants collaboratively making space for each other to feel, many favouring acts of care rather than talking. The COVID-19 lockdown, however, tended to reinforce gendered practices of emotion work, although some participants drew on emotional support beyond the household to try to mitigate this burden. The emotionally reflexive practices seen in these households suggest that sustaining more equality in emotional wellbeing relies on navigating material circumstances, is not always about verbal sharing, is often an interactional achievement, but also means resisting unrealistic expectations of intimate relationships within households as the fountainhead of all emotional succour.

Open access

In this article, we explore the emotionally reflexive processes by which some women build maternal futures in the unsettling context of climate change, aiming to contribute to a better understanding of reproductive (and other) future building as aided by emotions. We analyse the online testimonies of an organisation that raises awareness about the interrelationship between climate change and reproductive decision making. The findings illustrate how women’s consideration of possible futures is relational, guided by their feelings and what they know or imagine to be the feelings of their families, the wider society and future generations. This is important for interrogating how climate change might unsettle dominant maternal and familial practices but extend understandings of connection. We position cohabitability as a possible foundation for reproductive decision making but find this possibility unfulfilled. Rather, maternal future building more commonly reinforces individualised and gendered responsibility for the planet’s future.

Open access