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Everyday mobility practices and the ethics of care: young women's reflections on social responsibility in the time of COVID-19 in three African cities

Porter, Gina and Murphy, Emma C. and Adamu, Fatima and Delannoy, Ariane and Dungey, Claire (2022) 'Everyday mobility practices and the ethics of care: young women's reflections on social responsibility in the time of COVID-19 in three African cities.', Mobilities .


This paper draws principally from COVID-19 diaries written by young women whom we had previously trained as peer researchers in a mobility study of low-income neighbourhoods in Abuja, Cape Town and Tunis. Some live with parents or older extended family members, others have children in their care, but concerns around avoiding contagion have forced all peer researchers to reflect on their everyday socio-spatial mobility practices. This includes whether/how much they need to travel or can substitute virtual for physical travel; which transport mode to take and when; what precautions they must take on the move; what strategies of engagement are required to cope with externally imposed rules and contingencies – and the potential impact of their negotiations, decisions and experiences on the health of those dear to them at home. Reflections on these pandemic-induced responsibilities range from social distancing and mask wearing to issues around handling cash, modes of greeting and travel to funerals. The personal interpretations of responsibility that are reported in individual diaries point to the complexity of entanglements between everyday mobility practices on city streets and negotiated relations of care within the household (and other relational settings) that have emerged and deepened as the COVID story unfolds.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:29 January 2022
Date deposited:23 February 2022
Date of first online publication:22 March 2022
Date first made open access:28 March 2022

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