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Becoming Intimately Mobile

Bialski, Paula

Becoming Intimately Mobile

Series: Warsaw Studies in Culture and Society - Volume 2

Year of Publication: 2012

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2012. 190 pp.
ISBN 978-3-631-63070-9 hb.  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.370 kg, 0.816 lbs

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Book synopsis

As more and more people become mobile to visit friends, family, and business colleagues using social networking websites, technologies in use today like Couchsurfing.com or online hitchhiking websites (OHWs) are allowing people to create new, planned encounters also between strangers. This book adds to the small body of work currently existing in the social sciences which describes ways in which the internet aids such face-to-face intimacy. Based on extensive research including 5 years of ethnography of couch surfers and OHW users and insights from over 3500 open-ended survey responses, this book explores the way meetings are initiated, relationships are strengthened or avoided, and the way hospitality and homemaking are negotiated. By explaining the process of becoming intimately mobile, this work creates an in-depth account of the relationships being created today as well as the problems that arise when defining friendship and closeness in a mobile world.


Contents: Ethnography of couch surfers and online hitchhiking websites – Negotiating of hospitality and homemaking in a mobile world – Mobilities – Mobility – Sociality – Hospitality – Homemaking – Couch surfing – Online hitchhiking – Computer-mediated communication – Ethnography.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Paula Bialski is a former lecturer in media and cultural studies at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS). In 2011, she completed her doctoral dissertation at the Sociology Department at Lancaster University.


Warsaw Studies in Culture and Society. Vol. 2
Edited by Jacek Wasilewski