Staging MobilitiesAnnals of Tourism Research

About

Authors
Martin Trandberg Jensen
Year
2014
DOI
10.1016/j.annals.2013.08.004
Subject
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management / Development

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In order to conceptualise this trans-disciplinary approach, the author borrows inspiration from the

Canadian sociologist, Erving Goffman (1959, 1972), and his figurative dramaturgic metaphors used for analysis of social interaction, to propose a heuristic tool: the Staging Mobilities Framework. By putting ‘‘Goffman on the move’’, so to speak, Jensen draws attention to how mobilities are continuously played out as embedded in complex socio-technical assemblages, equally importantly structured and confined by institutions, technologies, and material settings (‘‘staging from above’’) as they are embodied and performed by humans (‘‘staging from below’’). Accordingly, the framework visually illustrates how mobilities in situ can be demarcated and analytically treated as based upon separate, yet interrelated, dimensions of physical settings (infrastructure), social interactions, and embodied performances. This operational conceptualisation combined with a body of applicable analytical notions makes this book an accessible and highly applicable mobilities-cum-urban planning-cum-design publication.

To substantiate the author’s claims, the book is structured into four parts that interrelates a mix of conceptual discussions with phenomenological and interpretive accounts deriving from a number of previously published articles. In Part 1, ‘‘Staging mobilities: Review and Positioning’’ the objective of the book is described as ‘‘to contribute theoretically to the mobilities literature by adding the dimension of design and architecture of the built environment to a sociological framing’’ (p. 5). Extending the ‘‘mobilities turn’’, the author departs from the critique point of mobilities literature not yet sufficiently having dealt with the dynamics and complex interactions of people in motion mediated by the material sites and networked technologies. In a Goffmanian vein, the author sets actual and situational practices at the heart of the analysis, terming such engagement with situational microecologies of mobile practices as ‘‘mobile situationism’’. While doing so, it also explores the theoretical buildingReferences

Auge, M. (2012). Nicht-Orte (3rd ed.). München: Beck.

Netto, P. A., Dantas, S., Virgínia, A., Noguero, F. T., Jäger, M., Mazaro, R. (2011). Por uma visão crítica nos estudos turísticos. In

Revista Turismo em Análise (Vol. 22(3)). Brazil.

Margret Jaeger

Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment,

Study Centre Vienna, 1010, Opernring 5/2,

UMIT – University for Health and Life Sciences, Hall/Tyrol 6060, Austria

Tel.: +43 508648 3952; fax: +43 508648 3950.

E-mail address: margret.jaeger@umit.at

Assigned 27 January 2013. Submitted 17 May 2013. Accepted 28 May 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2013.08.003

Staging Mobilities

By Ole B. Jensen. Routledge (www.routledge.com) 2013, xii + 228 pp. (figures, bibliography, index),

Price Hb £80.00. ISBN: 978-0-415-69373-8.

Staging Mobilities plugs into contemporary discussions within tourism research dealing with issues related to the sociology of mobility, especially the influence of materiality, embodiment, and performativity. However, it does so by proposing an original outlook on mobilities by asking readers to consider the potent contributions that design theory, urban planning, and architecture have to offer as related to the staging of mobilities. Seen as such, its primary contribution must be found in its interdisciplinary insistency to mix more theoretically-rooted disciplines within the mobilities literature (such as sociology, human geography and transport studies) with disciplines favouring slightly more ‘‘interventionist’’ ideals (such as urban design, architecture, planning, and engineering).

Book Reviews / Annals of Tourism Research 44 (2014) 288–300 291 blocks of such terming by discussing the mobilities turn, especially keen on nomad/sedentary ontology, assemblage and network theory, and proposing a number of mobile methods capable of dealing with relational realities.

Part 2, ‘‘Framing Mobilities’’, presents the three core dimensions of the Staging Mobilities perspective. In connection to the influence of physical settings, the notion of ‘‘mobile biotopes’’ is proposed as being fully human-made inhabited, material, and lived sites of mobile everyday life (cross-roads, traffic lights, train stations, etc.). The concepts of ‘‘mobile sociopals’’ and ‘‘mobile sociofugals’’ stand as figurative terms illustrating how physical design can either encourage or discourage certain mobile practices. In connection to social interaction, the notions of ‘‘temporary congregations’’ and ‘‘mobile withs’’ offer original articulations of the dynamics of mobile human interaction, and will be central terms for researchers dealing, e.g., with tourist flows. Finally, the author addresses mobile embodied performances, trying to clarify how such can (also) be seen as kinaesthetic investments that orient people towards the material affordances surrounding them, and doing so, generating emotional geographies. Such (re)productions are important as they create a mobile aesthetics that are particular ways of perceiving the world and that consequently create systems, patterns, and models of moving and being moved. As such, embodied mobilities aggregate into cultural patterns of mobilities meaning.

Part 3, ‘‘Practices of Mobilities’’, investigates a variety of negotiations in motion and their consequences. Through an unfolding of how mobile practices are afforded by digital media/technologies, through a mobile ethnography deriving from an urban study, and finally through a showcasing of how metro systems mediate lived mobilities and rearranging urban networks, the author sparks discussions on mobility as related to/affected by augmented space (and multi-layered systems of coding), concrete negotiation techniques, segregation, and even identity.