Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)


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How should we understand the personal and social impacts of complex mobility systems? Can lifestyles based around intensive travel, transport and tourism be maintained in the 21st century? What possibility post-carbon lifestyles? In this provocative study of "life on the move," Anthony Elliott and John Urry explore how complex mobility systems are transforming everyday, ordinary lives.

The authors develop their arguments through an analysis of various sectors of mobile lives: networks, new digital technologies, consumerism, the lifestyles of a globalsa TM , and intimate relationships at-a-distance. Elliott and Urry introduce a range of new concepts a " miniaturized mobilities, affect storage, network capital, meetingness, neighbourhood lives, portable personhood, ambient place, globals a " to capture the specific ways in which mobility systems intersect with mobile lives.

This book represents a novel approach in "post-carbon" social theory. It will be essential reading for advanced undergraduate students, postgraduates and teachers in sociology, social theory, politics, geography, international relations, cultural studies, and economics and business studies.

In analysing spatial mobility and the impact of electronic communication on a global scale the authors develop a penetrating account of the origins of the crisis of sustainability in world society. It is like reading J. Ballard, but with fact replacing fiction' --Professor Lord Anthony Giddens, London School of Economics, UK 'This world of ours here and now, the world of 'mobile lives', as Elliott and Urry aptly and pertinently call it, differs sharply from the one which those older among us wistfully or sorrowfully, but always vividly, remember from the not-that-distant past, while the young among us find difficult to comprehend, let alone imagine.

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Both generations find it equally difficult, even if for opposite reasons, to make sense of the new reality that engulfed their present life unaccompanied with a language fit to report their experience of being-in-it and to make sense of it in a way making suitable for mutual communication. Elliott and Urry make a gigantic step towards composition and codification of badly missing thus far grammar and vocabulary of such language; we all owe them deep gratitude for the enormous volume of research and thought necessary for that task, as daunting as it is urgent, to be performed' --Zygmunt Bauman, Professor Emeritus at the Universities of Leeds, UK, and Warsaw, Poland 'John Urry and Anthony Elliott are, respectively, first among leaders of sociology in the UK and Australia.

Together, in Mobile Lives, they demonstrate just how strongly other-than-US Anglophone sociology has come to dominate the world of forward looking social thought' --Charles Lemert, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan University, USA 'The book succeeds brilliantly in capturing the fluidity and lure of our deeply problematic contemporary mobilities.

The costs and benefits of our mobile lives are revealed by the authors with an unusually sharp eye' --Professor Helga Nowotny, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 'Mobile Lives superbly captures the paradox of modern life. Just as we sit and surf the net, we travel to connect with others. This well-written, authoritative book shows how we're out of villages and into networks' --Barry Wellman, S.

Clark Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada 'Overall, a deeply informed, challenging exploration of global networks, mobility, and new forms of individuation. ProQuest Research Library provides one-stop access to more than 4, periodicals from one of the broadest, most inclusive general reference databases ProQuest has to offer.

Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)

Previously entitled Academic Research Library. Provides online access to the full text of individual SAGE journals. SAGE's publishing focus is mainly the social sciences and humanities. Social Theory via Alexander Street Press Offers an extensive selection of documents that explore the complexities and interpret the nature of social behavior and organization.

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Sociological Abstracts via ProQuest. Abstracts and indexes international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Topics include: Culture and social structure, demography and human biology, economic development, health, medicine, law, family and social welfare, studies in violence and power, social development, religion and science, substance abuse and addiction, women's studies, welfare services.

Newly relaunched with a brand new look and feel, and specifically designed to meet the needs and expectations of reference users, Oxford Reference provides quality, up-to-date reference content at the click of a button. The Blackwell dictionary of sociology A user's guide to sociological language. The SAGE handbook of applied social research methods. The SAGE handbook of social research methods. Despite the apparent obduracy of sociology in the US, the emergence of a new mobilities paradigm is nevertheless linked to a number of new academic institutions, networks and research initiatives that are attempting to re-position the sociology of mobilities.

The main research networks, which sponsor conferences and research meetings, include the Cosmobilities Network and the Mediterranean Mobilities networks in Europe, and the Pan-American Mobilities Network, which is entering its fifth year of holding annual conferences in the USA and Canada, and includes members from Latin America.

Key publications include the journal Mobilities , and the journal Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies , as well as book series published by Routledge Changing Mobilities and by Ashgate.

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Out of this transnational, interdisciplinary nexus the field of mobilities research has gradually established a position that has a foot within sociology, but also reaches across many disciplinary boundaries. Beyond the classical locus of urban sociology, and its important influence within human geography Cresswell ; Adey , mobilities research is also recognized as an important addition to the fields of transport research Knowles et al. By focusing on the corporeal travel of people and the physical movement of objects, as well as dimensions such as imaginative travel, virtual travel and communicative travel Urry , it has stimulated transformative research agendas that reconvene the disparate fields of social science in a cross-cutting and dynamic configuration.

Mobilities research holds the potential and the threat to reconfigure the boundaries, methodologies and theoretical lens of sociology. In what follows I aim to delineate in broad strokes some of the key areas in which mobilities research has perhaps been misunderstood by sociologists, and also where it can contribute to a renewed sociology. The first section is concerned with historicity, im mobility and power, arguing that mobilities research is not simply concerned with global flows or contemporary traveling elites, as it is sometimes misunderstood to be.

The second section turns to some theoretical issues concerning micro and macro scales, and the relation between phenomenological and non-representational approaches within mobilities research and wider macro-approaches to structuration, systems and socio-technical change. The conclusion re-frames what mobilities research can offer contemporary sociology.


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Although many theorists of postmodernity, late modernity and globalization began to describe a sense of societal motion, flow and liquidity in the s e. Bauman , it is. Mobilities have long been a central aspect of both historical and contemporary existence, of urban and of non-urban locales, of Western and non-Western experience. Patterns of mobility are always shifting to support different modes of trade, interaction, urbanization and communication.

To take one specific area of historical sociological research, a mobilities perspective can raise new questions around the emergence of the public sphere and its role in civil society — one of the classic problems of Habermasian-inf luenced sociology.

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Notions of public and private are fundamental to sociological analysis, yet are often oddly lacking a spatial perspective on how the mobilities of people and information shape the formation of publics and counterpublics, or how infrastructures and sorting systems might guide access to and movement between private and public spaces. Second, although the speed, intensity, and technical channeling of various mobile f lows may be greater than ever before for some people, in some places — though certainly not all , mobilities research emphasizes the relation of such mobilities to associated immobilities or moorings, and their ongoing reconfiguration in the past as well as in the present.

This brings into view the political projects inherent in the power relations informing processes of globalization and associated claims to globality, fluidity or opening that depend on various kinds of structured practices of mobilities and immobilities.

Third, with an emphasis on the relations between mobilities and immobilities, scapes and moorings, movement and stillness Hannam et al. Issues of uneven motility and of mobility rights, ethics and justice have become crucial to the field of critical mobilities research Cresswell ; Bergmann and Sager ; Uteng and Cresswell , with attention to subaltern mobilities and immobilities as well as recognition of the importance of uprooting, dwelling, homing and grounding Ahmed et al. Uneven mobility capital is crucial to processes of globalization, effectively being created by particular forms of demobilizations and remobilizations in the process of ongoing spatial fixes, temporal fixes and spatio-temporal fixes.

Mobilities research is therefore highly engaged with debates over globalization, cosmopolitanism, postcolonialism, and emerging forms and histories of urbanism, surveillance and global governance of various kinds of differentiated or uneven mobility, all of which should be central concerns of contemporary sociology. Mobilities theory departs from classic social theory in part because it builds on a wider range of philosophical perspectives to more radically re-think the relation between bodies, movement and space.

In doing so, it treats scale in a different way than most sociology, because it is not limited by a micro vs. First, it draws on phenomenology to reconsider embodied practices and the production of being-in-motion as a relational affordance between the senses, objects, and kinaesthetic accomplishments. There are active corporeal engagements of human bodies with the sensed world, suggesting many different kinds of affordances between varied bodies, technologies cars, phones, the internet, satellites , practices of movement such as walking, biking, riding, driving or flying and events of movement such as commuting, migration, congestion,waiting, touring or pilgrimage Hannam et al.

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Some recent work, for example, focuses on the micromobilities of the body in forms of dance or the bodily rhythms and motion involved in activities such as bicycling, rock climbing or walking Fincham et al. New methodologies are being developed to study these more ephemeral, embodied and affective dimensions of interlocking mobility and immobility, including attention not simply to fluidity or speed, but to slowness, stillness, waiting and pauses, which are all part of a wider sensuous geography of movement, affect and dwelling Adey ; Bissell , ; Bissell and Fuller Vannini We also gain an appreciation of the temporal pulse of transfer points and places of in-between-ness in which the circulation of people and objects are slowed or stopped, as well as facilitated and accelerated Sheller and Urry a ; Hannam et al.

Yet it is also crucial that we recognize that the field of mobilities research goes beyond a micro-sociology of practice. As the preceding section on histories of im mobilities suggested, it also draws on Foucauldian genealogies and governmentalities to address the meanings of im mobility, discourses and visual representations of speed and slowness, and the production of normalized mobile subjects.

Classic historical and comparative sociological questions of state formation, social movements and resistance can also be re-thought in terms of the state strategies for management of mobility, borders and the visibility of subjects within regimes of mobility, versus hidden mobility as a tactical escape from state power and anarchistic evasion of state governance Scott that is still crucial to informal economies, piracy, and practices of offshoring.

Having broken out of the straightjacket of society imagined as a national container with fixed boundaries at its borders, macro-level mobilities theory also draws on critical postcolonial theory and theories of political economy to re-think the performative politics of racial difference, secured borders and the governance of migration, sea-space and air-space. Crucial here are the in-between and liminal places at which movement is paused, slowed or stopped: borders, airports, toll roads, hotels, motels, detention centers, refugee camps, etc.

Mountz The study of mobilities at this scale too is also very much about waiting, stillness and non-movement. It is also very concerned with emotional geographies, and the ways in which affect circulates amongst that which moves and does not move, suffusing the speeds and stillnesses of im mobility with negative and positive polarities. Thus it offers a far more nuanced view of migration, border-crossing and various other kinds of travel, including tourism, and has been recognized in all of these sub-disciplines as an important contribution to how we might think about our field of study.

Rather than assuming pre-constituted subjects who cross pre-existing borders, there is a move towards examining the co-constitution of mobile border-subjects or places-in-motion Sheller and Urry Through a kinaesthetic sense of bodily motion we apprehend time and space, orient ourselves toward the world, and create place through the frictions and rhythms of our movement. Movements have different rhythms, and those rhythms of movement flow through bodies, cities and landscapes, shaping their feel, sculpting their textures, and making places. And this certainly echoes the feel of the work of Simmel on the stimulus of urban life and the rhythms of urban metabolism, yet places it into a contemporary framework that is relevant to understanding global urbanism today.

Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)
Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)
Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)
Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)
Mobile Lives (International Library of Sociology)

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