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Technologies of Mobility in the Americas


Phillip Vannini, Lucy Budd, Ole Jensen, Christian Fisker and Paola Jirón

What do road infrastructures, media networks, ferry boats, cell phones, automobiles, and airplanes have in common? As attempts to come to terms with the virtual and material distance separating people, objects, and information they are all technologies of mobility which deeply shape our ways of life, informing ideas, demanding new skills and practices, facilitating or impeding relationships, and restricting or enabling access to crucial resources.
Mobility studies concentrate on the intersecting movements of bodies, objects, capital, and signs across time-space, dissecting how practices, experiences, representations, and political dynamics shape new networks and lifeworlds. This book aims to reflect on the simultaneously technological and cultural (hence, technocultural) processes underpinning many of these forms of mobility, concentrating in particular in the North, Central, and South American social context.
Whereas in Europe the study of mobilities has begun to take a strong hold in academic units, professional research networks, and recognized publication outlets, the study of mobilities is still in its adolescence in the Americas. Yet, in contrast, mobility is very much part of the core of the social imaginary, geo-politics, and cultural life of the Americas. Indeed, to be «on the move» is among the most quintessential characteristics of what it means to be a citizen of the Americas. This book is the first to reflect on these dynamics within this large geo-cultural context.
Contents: Phillip Vannini/Lucy Budd/Ole B. Jensen/Christian Fisker/Paola Jirón: Technologies of Mobility in the Americas: Introduction – Mimi Sheller: Virtual Caribbeans: Edens, Economies, Elsewheres – Rob Shields: Knowing Flows: How Migration Research Meets Mobilities Through Digital Technology – Ole B. Jensen: If Only It Could Speak: Narrative Explorations of Mobility and Place in Seattle – Nick Scott: How Car Drivers Took the Streets: Critical Planning Moments of Automobility – Lucy Budd: Selling the World: Airline Advertisements and the Promotion of International Aeromobility in National Geographic, 1964-2004 – Jennie Germann Molz: Solidarity on the Move: Technology, Mobility, and Activism in a Hospitality Exchange Network – Christian E. Fisker: Glimpses of Motility of the Networked Self Across the Life Course – Kim Sawchuk/Barbara Crow: Seniors, Cell Phones, and Tactical Restriction – Phillip Vannini/Rhys Evans: Haunting Technologies: Performing Memories of Place Through Effervescent Mobilities – Tamara Shepherd/Leslie Regan Shade: Mobile Phones as a «Necessary Evil»: Canadian Youth Talk About Negotiating the Politics of Mobility – Jim Conley: A Sociology of Traffic: Driving, Cycling, Walking – Noel B. Salazar: Imaginative Technologies of (Im)mobility at the «End of the World» – Paola Jirón: Technology and Technicians Out of Control: The Implementation of Transantiago From a Daily Mobility Point of View.