Families, Mobility, and Work

Edited by Barbara Neis, Nora Spinks, and Christina Murray
Categories: Social Sciences, Work & Labour Studies, Anthropology, Health, Social Work & Psychology, Social Work, Geography, Geography, Sociology
Series: Social and Economic Papers
Publisher: Memorial University Press
Paperback : 9781990445040, 512 pages, September 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781990445064, September 2022

Table of contents


1. Families, Mobility, and Work: An Introduction | Barbara Neis, Christina Murray, and Nora Spinks


Part I: Diversity, Mobility, Work, and Families

2. Climbing the “Ladder of Success”: Family, Labour Mobility, and Anti-Black Racism in Twentieth-Century Montreal | Steven High

3. Ruminations on Ephemerality | Brenda Grzetic

4. “When You Got a Disability You Get Good at Networking”: An Interview about Work Mobility with a Disability and the Evolving “Family” That Supports It | Dana Howse and Mandy Penney

5. A Juggling Act: Mothering While FIFO | Griffin Kelly, Maria Fernanda Mosquera Garcia, and Sara Dorow


Part II: Rotational Work and Evolving Families

6. Coming Home | Kevin Ryan

7. From Toddlers to Teens — Examining Mobile Work and Its Impact on Family Evolution: Amber’s Story | Christina Murray, Hannah Skelding, and Sylvia Barton

8. Letters from Camp: Work, Family, and Time in the FIFO Regime | Sara Dorow and Sandrine Jean

9. Making It Work | Nicole Snow and Ian Fong

10. Employer Policies and Practices Regarding Mobile Workers and Their Families: Reactive and Proactive Strategies | Kara A. Arnold and Nora Spinks


Part III: Mobility and Multi-Generational Family and Community Relationships

11. “You Do It For Other People”: Social Reproduction Practices Outside the Home among Commuting Workers | Diane Royal

12. “Above Everything Else I Just Want To Be a Real Grandparent”: Examining the Experiences of Grandparents Supporting Families Impacted by Mobile Labour in Atlantic Canada | Christina Murray, Doug Lionais, and Maddie Gallant

13. A Hidden Chapter in Life We Did Not Expect or Foresee: Sharing the Stories of Grand-Families in Prince Edward Island | Don Avery and Gaby Novoa

14. Grandparents Are Special — A Tribute to Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren | Rolanda Pyle

15. Young People as Sources of Support and Community-Building in a Context of Mobile Work in Rural NL | Nicole Gerarda Power

16. Kin and Kilometres: Multi-Generational Family Relationships in Long-Distance Couples | Laura Tejada


Part IV: Marine and Coastal Work, Mobility, and Family-Making

17. Small Town Girl Working on Big Coast Guard Ships | Alexia Stasha Newson

18. Lightkeeping and Family-Making | Sharon R. Roseman

19. The Working Lives of Bay de Verde, Newfoundland | Andrew Lincoln and George Gmelch

20. “That’s Our Life”: Making Digital Stories with Mobile Worker Families | George Gmelch and Diane Royal


Part V: International Migration, Work, and Families

21. A Migrant’s Journey: From Fish Plant Worker to Registered Nurse | Marie Antoinette G. Pangan

22. Crossing Paths: Intersecting Mobilities | Catherine Bryan

23. “Family. Family. First of All Is Family”: Refugee Movements in Eastern Canada | Shiva Nourpanah and Pauline Gardiner Barber


Part VI: Mobility, Work, and Military Families

24. Staying Connected While Mommy or Daddy Is Away: Flat Dad, Flat Mum, and Flat Me | Colonel Russell Mann

25. Mobility-Related Health Care Disruptions for Military-Connected Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder | Ashley Williams, Garth Smith, Dawa Samdup, and Heidi Cramm

26. Motorcycling Together: Mitigating Military Exit | Karen Samuels


Part VII: Mobility, Work, Families, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

27. On the Move in the Midst of a Pandemic: Canada’s Essential Mobile Workers and Their Families | Barbara Neis, Kerri Neil, Katherine Lippel, and Lesley Butler

28. Walking the Empty City: Feminist Reflections on Life Suspended under COVID-19 | Deatra Walsh

29. Finding Connection in Online Spaces: Newfoundland and Labrador Families Separated by Work | Melissa Ralph

30. Conclusion | Barbara Neis, Christina Murray, and Nora Spinks



Employment-related geographical mobility is widespread and increasing within Canada and around the world. Prolonged daily commutes, working away for extended periods, and being employed in mobile workplaces can affect work and family lives along with creating personal risk and compromising well-being.

Families, Mobility, and Work allows readers to experience and explore many of the challenges, opportunities and effects of diverse forms of work-related mobility through a family-centred lens. Assembling findings from substantial research, rooted primarily in the Canadian context, this expansive collection explores intersections between family lives and diverse types of mobility across multiple populations of workers, regions, and sectors. Authors consider a wide range of work-related geographical mobility patterns and their implications including intimate adult relationships, parenting, gender roles, commuting, perspectives on disability, youth as sources of support in families, communities with migrant workers, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s mobile labour force.

Families, Mobility, and Work is a rich, engaging, and broadly accessible volume, comprising research-based articles, personal stories, songs, poetry, and a photographic essay. These collected perspectives aim to remind us that while families may be the most adaptable institutions in our society, we require evidence-based workplace practices, community and social supports, public policies, and programs if families are to thrive as they endeavour to harmonize their work and mobility rhythms with their broader lives.