Reading Group Session 2: Translocality & Scale

In order to identify synergies between single projects and thematic lines, we organized and conceptualized reading group sessions open to all De:link // Re:link researchers.

In the second reading group session, we were interested in the (trans)local and its relation to scale. The concept of translocality as defined by Freitag & von Oppen foregrounds local to local relations, world-making processes and situatedness during mobility (Brickell & Datta 2011) from the angle of area studies and their empirical realities – a perspective that was underrepresented in globalization theories until the first decade of the 2000s. In discussing the texts, we critically engaged with the notion of translocality from our own disciplines, research perspectives and empirical examples.

As the question of methodology is prevalent and a challenge in the analysis of translocalization processes of various kinds, we further discussed the relation of translocality and scale by referring to the notion of Porst & Sakdapolrak (2017) on this matter. We exchanged understandings on the notion of scale based on the definitions and usages in our own disciplines and research projects. We ended the discussion of both texts by understanding of how the concept of scale can be applied as method, descriptive tool and research objective in both an implicit and explicit manner, and how such perspective is useful to unfold and address power relations and hierarchical levels in translocal space production.

Reading material:

1. Freitag & von Oppen (2010): “‘Translocality’: An Approach to Connection and Transfer in Area Studies”. In: Freitag & von Oppen (eds) Translocality: The Study of Globalising Processes from a Southern Perspective. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

2. Porst & Sakdapolrak (2017): “How Scale Matters in Translocality: Uses and Potentials of Scale in Translocal Research”, Erdkunde vol. 71, 2, pp. 111–126.

Additional reference:

Brickell & Datta (eds, 2011): Translocal Geographies, Spaces, Connections. Farnham: Ashgate.

Organization and concept: Dr. Linda Ammann Gerlach, Dr. Jamila Adeli