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Culture of Mobilities: Everyday Life, Communication, and Politics

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference -Mixed Audience


‘The Cultures of Mobilities: Everyday life, Communication, and Politics’ conference, held in Aalborg, Denmark, on October 27-29 2010. The conference was open to students, scholars, and professionals from various fields interested in the theoretical or applied study of mobilities. This is the 6th Cosmobilities conference that is organised in cooperation with the Cosmobilities Network. The following plenary speakers were: Mimi Sheller, Drexel University, USA Eric Laurier, Edinburgh University, Scotland Jonas Larsen, Roskilde University, Denmark Different forms of mobilities have increased dramatically in recent decades and are today essential for many spheres of contemporary societies. In various research disciplines mobility is still often thought of as a matter of rational organization, an important competitive feature in a global world, or as a dominant factor involved in stratification. As such, mobility is immanently connected to material practices of movement and access - or their opposites. However, what is less discussed in the recent debates on mobility research is that mobilities are not just material, but also signifying practices. Mobilities have just as much to do with the production of meaning and culture. The 2010 ‘Cultures of Mobilities’ conference therefore takes up the challenge to theorize and analyze mobilities from the vantage point of a cultural perspective. The conference will place a particular emphasis on how mobilities produce and re-produce norms, meanings and cultures. The conference focus of ‘Cultures of Mobilities’ will encompass three different themes: Everyday life, Communication and Politics. The Everyday life perspective considers how the organization of mobilities in everyday life produces (and re-produces) particular sets of values and norms relating to mobilities. It explores the ways in which everyday life mobilities are being organized, and asks whether everyday mobilities are generating new social communities and perspectives on social interaction, or are instead eroding social connectivity. The Communication perspective considers how new digital communication technologies influence mobility practices and how they may create affordances for particular ways of engaging with mobilities. Papers in this part may also involve intercultural/cross-cultural perspectives on mobility as well as the analysis of representations of mobilities in, for example, literature, media, documentary, cinema, computer games and fiction. Finally the Politics perspective addresses how the new mobilities are being perceived politically. Are various political perceptions encouraging or discouraging particular forms of mobility? Are there specific norms and cultures related to the ways in which states and governmental systems create policies for mobilities? Under this theme, we also encourage papers on critical perspectives, ‘the environment’, ‘mobility as a right’ and power/social stratification at scales from the neighborhood to global mega-regions. The conference took place in Nordkraft, a new arts centre in a renovated power station on the habour front. Nearby is the new Utzon Centre, dedicated to the work of Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect.

Event (Conference)

TitleCulture of Mobilities: Everyday Life, Communication, and Politics