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Uncertain mobilities: a view from the past

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date03/2013
JournalTransfers
Journal number1
Volume3
Number of pages19
Pages26-44
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Contemporary society assumes high levels of unimpeded mobility, and disruptions to the ability to move quickly and easily can cause considerable concern. This paper examines the notion of mobility uncertainty and disruption from an historical perspective, arguing that interruptions to mobility have long been a characteristic of everyday travel. It is suggested that what has changed is not so much the extent or nature of disruption, but rather the resilience of transport systems and societal norms and expectations about travel. Data are taken from five examples of life writing produced by residents of the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The texts are used to illustrate the travel problems encountered and the strategies adopted to deal with them. A concluding discussion examines these themes in the context of 21st century mobility.

Bibliographic note

The definitive publisher-authenticated version was published in Transfers 3 (1), 2013, is available online at:http://berghahn.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/trans/2013/00000003/00000001/art00004