Tropical Geography ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (7): 1118-1127.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003515

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The Construction and Emotional Experience of "Home" in Fishermen's Workspace in the South China Sea: A Case Sudy of the Hainan Tanmen Fishermen

Hongfu Chen(), Zhengsheng Zhang(), Zhigang Zhu, Qing Dong, Haiqiu Chen, Xuefeng Hou   

  1. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2022-03-28 Revised:2022-06-08 Online:2022-07-05 Published:2022-07-23
  • Contact: Zhengsheng Zhang;


In the context of globalization and mobility, mobility and home have become an important topic in the study of the new cultural geography. Previous studies on mobility and home have paid more attention to the impact of land-based mobility on the home, and less to mobility in the marine context and its connection with the home. From the perspective of mobility in the marine context, based on the home geography and the connotation of the home culture, this paper discusses the production space of fishermen during the long-term working the sea in three parts: the function, the emotion, and the imagination of the home. First, in the construction of the home, fishermen in Hainan fully realized the function of the home through the spatial design and material landscape of the fishing boat, satisfying their multi-sensory experience of a home. In terms of the space design of the fishing boat, its interior is equipped with living spaces and equipment such as lounges, kitchens, leisure rooms, refrigerators, TVs, and air conditioners. During the production time, these spaces and equipment can also be used to make up for their separation from the flow of the home, and through these advanced facilities, the "home function" of the fishing boat can be fully realized. Second, fishermen who live at sea far away from their families need not only the function of a home but also emotional support. Therefore, the deep collective feelings experienced by fishermen throughout their long-term life on fishing boats, the teaching of sailing skills from the old to the new fishermen, and their concern about their daily lives have reduced the feeling of distress and loneliness among the fishermen who have been away from home for a long time, giving them the emotional experience of a home. Finally, in terms of mobility, the fixed position and boundaries of the home have been gradually blurred, and the home has gradually been endowed with a broader scope and rich connotations and can be constructed through the imagination of individuals or groups. The experiences of fishermen in the production space in the South China Sea are not limited to the interior of the fishing boat. During their movement across the sea, they acquire a sense of familiarity based on their knowledge of a specific area of the South China Sea and generate an image of the surrounding environment. During their long-term life at sea, fishermen also experience a sense of familiarity and belonging to the natural environment at sea. Through familiarity with features such as place names, orientations, and shapes of the islands and reefs, as well as a keen awareness of the boundaries of the sea area, the South China Sea is gradually considered the homeland image of the "ancestral sea."

Key words: fisherman, the South China Sea, production space, home construction, emotional experience, Tanmen, Hainan

CLC Number: 

  • K901