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Moving with practices: the discontinuous, rhythmic and material mobilities of leisure

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2013
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Number of pages21
Early online date2/09/13
Original languageEnglish


When considering mobilities within social life, researchers have emphasized the importance of enactment and embodied practices. Yet such understandings of practice as praxis—human action in general—have often left the relationship between practices and mobilities vaguely characterized. This paper therefore engages with an understanding of practices as praktik—distinct patterns of social action made up of interconnected elements—in order to explore how people move not only with cars and trains but also with practices. Praktik provides a context for studying the multiple mobilities of people, objects and ideas, highlighting important dynamics of performance and units of study. Leisure subcultures, the empirical focus of the paper, are important social practices and yet limited attention has been given to how they rely upon and are constituted by mobilities. Drawing upon a qualitative study of patchwork quilting and bird watching, the paper demonstrates that enacting leisure is inextricable from enacting discontinuous mobilities. Enthusiasts' goals lead to common experiences of travelling-in-anticipation and travelling-in-disappointment, while the systematic circulation of objects, such as bird lists and bird books, shape travel even when they are not moving alongside participants. In this way, leisure practices unfold through temporally marked patterns of mobility.