Moving in place: the relationship between movement and emplacement for young adults in Katoomba, NSW

Ms Francesca Sidoti1

1Western Sydney University


Conceptualizations of place as an ‘event’ ask us to consider the idea that human movement occurs in relation with the multiple dynamic processes that comprise a place (Casey, 1993; Casey, 1996; Massey, 2005, Pink, 2011). Yet, for young adults in Katoomba, NSW, certain types of human movement are constructed as legitimating emplacement while others are excluded. In this regional town, young adults perform the movements of ‘leaving’, most commonly through migration and travel, in order to be recognized as legitimately in place. The dominance of this process obscures the importance of other forms of movement in emplacement, such as the circulation of affects between bodies and environments and the pedagogical and relational processes of moving through a dynamic landscape (Tsing, 2005). Drawing on ten ‘moving’ interviews, as well as supplementary interviews and survey responses, this paper examines the registers of movement for young adults in Katoomba. I argue that, while the achievement of migration or travel remains the lauded form of movement, the practices of young adults suggest that other forms of movement have equal influence on their lives, their experience of youth and adulthood, and processes of emplacement.


Francesca Sidoti is a PhD student at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. She studies the relationship between place and young adulthood in the regional town of Katoomba, NSW.

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