Towards geographies of comfort

Laura Price, Danny McNally, Philip Crang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This introductory chapter, split in four parts, sets out an argument for investigating the geographies of comfort. Part one, through the use of a series of illustrative examples, suggests that comfort and discomfort are everyday, common, and ordinary ways of thinking about shared geographical experiences of world-making and un-making, mobility and socio-environmental transformation. As such, we believe they deserve critical reflection. In part, this means interrogating problematic and easy equations of comfort and discomfort with good and bad experiences or with conservative and progressive politics.

Part two of the chapter contextualizes the geographies of comfort within wider disciplinary and interdisciplinary agenda. We do this by drawing out the different registers implicated in questions of comfort and discomfort. This includes the bodily, sensory and phenomenological geographies; cultural politics and cultural and feminist geographies; and affective materialism and non-representational geographies. In doing so, we seek to map out coordinates for a fuller understanding of the nuances, contradictions, distinctions and politics of ‘comfort’ and ‘discomfort’. In part three, we demonstrate how these different registers come together and are explored within the structure of the book across four substantive themes: bodies and environment; difference and encounters; materiality and textures; health and wellbeing. Finally, the chapter concludes drawing attention to the political importance and cultural geographies of comfort as world-making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of Comfort
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781472454027
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


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