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Journal ArticleDOI

Mobile Cultures: From the Sociology of Transportation to the Study of Mobilities

01 Feb 2010-Sociology Compass (Blackwell Publishing Ltd)-Vol. 4, Iss: 2, pp 111-121
TL;DR: A review of the current state of the research on mobile cultures by situating it within the sociology of mobility, or mobilities, is presented in this paper, focusing on empirical research on the social and cultural aspects of transportation.
Abstract: This article reviews the current state of the research on mobile cultures by situating it within the sociology of mobility, or mobilities. The review focuses in detail on empirical research on the social and cultural aspects of transportation. The study of transport in daily life, or the study of mobile cultures, is reviewed with a particular attention to issues of time and space, as well as the social problems and social inequalities generated by dominant patterns of mobility. It also discusses the mobility turn in sociology and the growth of a new mobility paradigm influencing important shifts in sociological theory and research methodology. It defines the field of mobilities as the study of the social aspects of movement, including the movement of people, material objects, information, and capital – both in the material and the virtual sense. Mobilities for instance may include phenomena as migration, transport, travel and tourism, wireless and portable communication technology use, the social organization of transportation and communication infrastructures, and regional and transnational flows of capital and material things.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that incorporating such contingent practices into travel generates affective satisfactions consistently sought across transport mode changes through the life-course, and explore the implications for the attractiveness of different modes and the potential for broader transitions to lower carbon mobility.

41 citations


Cites background from "Mobile Cultures: From the Sociology..."

  • ...broadly culturalist and interpretive research and writing (Cresswell 2011; Vannini 2010)....

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  • ...…has led to the switching of epistemological approaches from the objectifying eye of quantitative data collection and aggregation to the qualitative exploration of subjective experiences and meanings through broadly culturalist and interpretive research and writing (Cresswell 2011; Vannini 2010)....

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  • ...…that play a role in shaping mobility patterns and practices, including embodied tactile and sensory experiences (Jones 2012; Strengers 2014), affectivities (Löfgren 2008; Sheller 2004), identities (Adey et al. 2012) and symbolic and cultural meanings (Cresswell 2010; Jensen 2009; Vannini 2010)....

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  • ...2012) and symbolic and cultural meanings (Cresswell 2010; Jensen 2009; Vannini 2010)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
30 Oct 2013-Ethnos
TL;DR: This article argued that traffic congestion constitutes a unique zone in which cross-class encounters take place and that urban inequality is produced not only through segregated social spaces, but also on the move.
Abstract: Anthropological studies have paid too little attention to the everyday experience of traffic, a fact all the more striking given the central place that traffic has come to occupy in urban life worldwide. I submit that the daily experience of traffic is a critical and underutilised medium for examining social inequality in a global, urban social order. My analysis invokes the spectrum of inequalities in relation to traffic in Istanbul, mapping both the hierarchies born out in paradigmatic traffic situations and certain extremes – those barred or excused from participating in the traffic scene. I argue that traffic congestion constitutes a unique zone in which cross-class encounters take place. This analytical focus on the daily experience of traffic demonstrates that urban inequality is produced not only through segregated social spaces, but also on the move.

32 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jun 2016
TL;DR: Cresswell et al. as discussed by the authors present an account of the ways in which differing stances towards mobility have permeated theory and practice in dialectology, from the early nineteenth-century studies through to the present.
Abstract: Introduction Perhaps one sign of a maturing discipline is a willingness on the part of its practitioners to introspect, self-critique and reflect upon what the field has taken for granted in its quest for progress. As Eckert (2003: 392) has argued, ‘we have to take a look at the givens and consider their implications for what we've done, and for what we will do in the future’. There comes a point, she says, when theoretical and methodological assumptions that have previously been swept under the carpet ‘have done their work and it is now time to pull them out and examine what they have helped us take for granted’ (2003: 396). One particular ‘elephant in the room’ that has come in for considerable unpacking in recent years is the concept of the ‘authentic speaker’ (in addition to Eckert 2003, see Bucholtz 2003; Coupland 2010), the ‘ideal’ informant with all of the ‘right’ social characteristics that suit the analysis to be conducted. In dialectological theory and practice, the ‘authentic speaker’ has been a particularly large elephant. In this spirit, I turn the attention to another elephant and present an account of the ways in which differing stances towards mobility have permeated theory and practice in dialectology, from the early nineteenth-century studies through to the present. In assessing how ideologies of mobility have shaped dialectological practice, I draw heavily from contemporary debates in cultural geography that have explored ‘the way the geographical imagination … provides an underlying metaphysics that influences and informs thought and action’ (Cresswell 2006: 25). I begin, therefore, by outlining recent discussions about one particularly powerful underlying metaphysics that concerns ‘imaginations of mobility’, discussions which examine ‘the mobilization of mobility as a root metaphor for contemporary understandings of the world of culture and society’ (Cresswell 2006: 25–26). I highlight, first, the ongoing geographical critique of how mobility is imagined, conceptualised and ‘managed’ at two opposing poles – at one end ‘the propensity to see the world in fixed and bounded ways’, at the other ‘a way of seeing that takes movement as its starting point’ (Adey 2010: 40) – pointing to contemporary mobility theorists’ attempts to carve out a more nuanced middle path between the two, sensitive to the concerns of each.

31 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the concomitant processes of increasing familiarisation, responsiveness and responsibility that digital technology enables in the realm of tourism are discussed, and the authors reflect on the influenc...
Abstract: This article discusses the concomitant processes of increasing familiarisation, responsiveness and responsibility that digital technology enables in the realm of tourism. We reflect on the influenc...

31 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Aug 2013-Africa
TL;DR: The ambivalence of road travel in Africa was explored in this paper, where the authors present case studies from Senegalese, Ghana, Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania to understand how road travel is viewed as a process fraught with risky and contradictory possibilities.
Abstract: Roads and automobility on the African continent are commonly encountered with a rather ambivalent stance, both by Africans and Africanist scholars. This ambivalence emerges from what Adeline Masquelier describes as the ‘profoundly contradictory nature of roads as objects of both fascination and terror’ (2002: 381). In her widely received article on ‘road mythographies’ surrounding Niger's Route 1, Masquelier draws a vivid picture of the ‘contradictory aspects of the road as a space of both fear and desire’ (ibid.: 831). She highlights, in particular, how roadside residents perceive automotive travel as ‘a process fraught with risky and contradictory possibilities’ (ibid.: 832). A ‘pioneering study in the ethnography of roads’ (Campbell 2012: 498), Masquelier's account of people's profound ambivalence towards roads, mobility and transport in post-colonial Niger has been a source of inspiration for a range of scholars who have explored in a similar vein the intricate entanglement of people with (auto)mobility, space and modernity, both in Africa and elsewhere (see, for example, Khan 2006; Klaeger 2009; Dalakoglou 2010; Hart 2011). Five articles in this volume press ahead with the analytic theme of the ambivalence of roads. Through their historic analyses and ethnographic observations, the assembled case studies from Senegal, Ghana, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania give a strong sense of how the perils and possibilities of roads, roadsides, traffic and transport have been and continue to be embraced in the everyday lives of colonial and post-colonial subjects.

29 citations


Cites background from "Mobile Cultures: From the Sociology..."

  • ...The most recent collaborative works are presented by Vannini (2009), Snead et al. (2009), Cresswell and Merriman (2011), and Vergunst and Árnason (2012), who approach roads, routes and other pathways as well as various modes of (not necessarily automotive) mobility from GABRIEL KLAEGER currently…...

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors draw out some characteristics, properties, and implications of the new mobilities paradigm, especially documenting some novel mobile theories and methods, and reflect on how far this paradigm has developed and thereby to extend and develop the mobility turn within the social sciences.
Abstract: It seems that a new paradigm is being formed within the social sciences, the ‘new mobilities’ paradigm. Some recent contributions to forming and stabilising this new paradigm include work from anthropology, cultural studies, geography, migration studies, science and technology studies, tourism and transport studies, and sociology. In this paper we draw out some characteristics, properties, and implications of this emergent paradigm, especially documenting some novel mobile theories and methods. We reflect on how far this paradigm has developed and thereby to extend and develop the ‘mobility turn’ within the social sciences.

3,772 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Mobility has become an evocative keyword for the twenty-first century and a powerful discourse that creates its own effects and contexts as mentioned in this paper, and the concept of mobilities encompasses both the large-scale...

1,457 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A wide range of measures are available to improve the safety of walk and cycling in American cities, both to reduce fatalities and injuries and to encourage walking and cycling.
Abstract: Objectives. We examined the public health consequences of unsafe and inconvenient walking and bicycling conditions in American cities to suggest improvements based on successful policies in The Netherlands and Germany. Methods. Secondary data from national travel and crash surveys were used to compute fatality trends from 1975 to 2001 and fatality and injury rates for pedestrians and cyclists in The Netherlands, Germany, and the United States in 2000. Results. American pedestrians and cyclists were much more likely to be killed or injured than were Dutch and German pedestrians and cyclists, both on a per-trip and on a per-kilometer basis. Conclusions. A wide range of measures are available to improve the safety of walking and cycling in American cities, both to reduce fatalities and injuries and to encourage walking and cycling.

858 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the car reconfigures urban life, involving distinct ways of dwelling, travelling and socializing in, and through, an automobilized time-space, and argues that civil society should be reconceptualized as a civil society of automobility.
Abstract: The social sciences have generally ignored the motor car and its awesome consequences for social life, especially in their analysis of the urban. Urban studies in particular has failed to consider the overwhelming impact of the automobile in transforming the time-space 'scapes' of the modern urban/suburban dweller. Focusing on forms of mobility into, across and through the city, we consider how the car reconfigures urban life, involving distinct ways of dwelling, travelling and socializing in, and through, an automobilized time-space. We trace urban sociology's paradoxical resistance to cultures of mobility, and argue that civil society should be reconceptualized as a 'civil society of automobility'. We then explore how automobility makes instantaneous time and the negotiation of extensive space central to how social life is configured. As people dwell in and socially interact through their cars, they become hyphenated car-drivers: at home in movement, transcending distance to complete a series of activities within fragmented moments of time. Urban social life has always entailed various mobilities but the car transforms these in a distinct combination of flexibility and coercion. Automobility is a complex amalgam of interlocking machines, social practices and ways of dwelling which have reshaped citizenship and the public sphere via the mobilization of modern civil societies. In the conclusion we trace a vision of an evolved automobility for the cities of tomorrow in which public space might again be made 'public'.

733 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe a single day's walking along the South West Coast Path in North Devon, England, focusing on the distinctive ways in which coast walking patterns into refracting orderings of subjectivity and spatiality, into sensations of anxiety and immensity, haptic enfolding and attenuation, encounters with others and with the elements.
Abstract: This paper tells the story of a single day's walking, alone, along the South West Coast Path in North Devon, England. Forms of narrative and descriptive writing are used here as creative and critical means of discussing the varied affinities and distanciations of self and landscape emergent within the affective and performative milieu of coastal walking. Discussion of these further enables critical engagement with current conceptualizations of self–landscape and subject–world relations within cultural geography and spatial-cultural theory more generally. Through attending to a sequence of incidents and experiences, the paper focuses upon the distinctive ways in which coast walking patterns into refracting orderings of subjectivity and spatiality – into for example, sensations of anxiety and immensity, haptic enfolding and attenuation, encounters with others and with the elements, and moments of visual exhilaration and epiphany.

615 citations