Family-centred work motility in a small island community: The case of the Faroe Islands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coping with distance is a key feature in the making of remote
societies in the North Atlantic such as the Faroe Islands.
Historically, Faroese men have travelled far, working at sea
and in other countries and been absent for long periods of
time. Although a much smaller proportion of Faroese men
today work far from home, I argue that even today women’s
mobilities are heavily influenced by such long-standing
gender arrangements. I will use the concept of mobility
potential to explore how cultural expectations of gender
and work mobility intersect with family values. Mobility
potential involves looking beyond actual mobilities to explore
contexts and personal circumstances that enable or motivate
mobility practices. Mobility potential can be analysed through
two spheres of mobility potential: societal and individual
mobility potential. Societal mobility potential analyses not
just geographical displacement but also history, structures
(e.g. family policies and labour market regulations) as well as
material and geographical infrastructures that make mobility
possible. On a micro level, I analyse individual mobility
potential, referred to as motility, as one approach to connect
issues of family, gender and work. This article is based on
group interviews with women conducted in three locations in
the Faroe Islands. The analysis is structured around two main,
but interlinked themes; (1) family-centred motilities and (2)
mothers’ and children’s interconnected motilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1153
Number of pages16
JournalGender, place and culture
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • gender
  • mobilities
  • motility
  • remote island and rural societies
  • work


Dive into the research topics of 'Family-centred work motility in a small island community: The case of the Faroe Islands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this