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The flipside of the world: Sound, sleep, and willful unbelonging among sailing cruisers

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Long-term cruisers spend years living and travelling on small or medium-sized sailboats. They balance individualized, flexible lives with ongoing responsibilities to their boat, crew, and a fluid cruising community. They defy mainstream ideals linked to biomedicine, self-help, and economic productivity. While cruisers sometimes mobilize neoliberal discourse, they do not adhere to its undergirding values. Their subjectivity is centered on willful unbelonging; cruisers’ choice of living away from mainstream society is a willfulness expressed by enjoying novelty and freedom that challenges the normative North American lifestyle. Enacting and reproducing the cruising identity is thus emblematic of willful unbelonging, a positive process of self-“marginalization”. This research illuminates the possibility that unbelonging, and by extension belonging, is not a condition or state of being, but rather an active process embodied in mundane behaviours and experiences, such as sleep, listening, and multi-sensory engagement with (non-human) sounds understood as discourse, voice and bodily sensation.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Yang, Jie
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etd9827_MLougheed.pdf 949.65 KB

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