The term ‘SOS’ is used internationally as a signal of distress. Home SOS casts the spotlight on everyday life in crisis by positioning the home as a, if not the, principal site for understanding the contemporary intersections of gender, injustice and rights in Cambodia. The book provides a compelling account of the precarious gap that has emerged between the rhetoric of human rights and the reality of injustice suffered at the domestic scale. Based on original and in-depth empirical analysis of three SOS calls which can be heard and quite literally seen in Cambodia, it focuses on the pressing issues of domestic violence, marital breakdown, and forced eviction to examine this hiatus. The book brings together gender-differentiated experiences of home-life under threat with the (lack of) action taken by individuals, families, communities, NGOs, international agencies, and the Cambodian government to address these marked gendered insecurities.
My book is based on 10 years of primary, mainly qualitative research, with men and women at the village level in rural and urban areas across Cambodia. Perspectives are also shared from consultations with NGO representatives, international agencies (such as UNWomen), and government policy-makers (in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs), who all hold responsibility for addressing the SOS calls identified. The book therefore deploys an inventive combination of development, social and cultural, and political geographic perspectives to uncover intimate geographies of domestic life unfolding within the heterogeneous development landscape of Cambodia.
Home SOS makes an important contribution to critical and publicly oriented geographical scholarship on micro-geographies of injustice which are at the forefront of current international development concerns. It is also hoped that the book will make a contribution to raising awareness of these issues in and beyond Cambodia and to audiences outside of academia.
The book will be published by the Wiley Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Book Series. It is currently at the preparation stage. For further information, please contact me.
Thanks to Ben Woods for permission to use his photograph.