How scale matters in translocality: uses and potentials of scale in translocal research


  • Luise Porst
  • Patrick Sakdapolrak



boundaries, scale, mobility, human geography, translocality, place, social-spatial interactions


In a globalized world, the complexity of mobility prompts varied approaches to conceptualize connections across social and spatial boundaries. Over the past decade an increasing number of scholars have elaborated translocality as an approach to comprehend embeddedness while being mobile. Scale is one core dimension in conceptualizations of translocality. However, a systematic analysis of how scale is used in translocal research is lacking. Our core objective is to close this gap by reviewing and assessing how scale is conceptualized in research on translocality. Furthermore we discuss – against the backdrop of the rich literature on scale – how translocality research can benefit from considering notions of scale in a more systematic way. We find that by emphasizing the transgression and reshaping of spatial and scalar boundaries, translocality – beyond viewing scale as a category of spatial structuration – stresses the malleability of hierarchically ordered socio-spatial spheres. We accordingly conclude that scale is one conceptual approach whose explicit usage can help us to examine and operationalize practices of and power relations within social interactions by which translocal space is produced and reworked at multiple (abstract and concrete) levels.




How to Cite

Porst, L., & Sakdapolrak, P. (2017). How scale matters in translocality: uses and potentials of scale in translocal research. ERDKUNDE, 71(2), 111–126.