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The new uses of speed

Nouveaux usages de la vitesse

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Published on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 by Luigia Parlati

Summary

This call for paper aims at exploring the different dimensions of these reversible mobilities, of which long distance commuting and multi-residence are typical forms. In the existing literature, these mobilities have been studied mainly through their links with employment (Ravalet, 2012). Nevertheless, their entire determination by job reasons is questionable: is long distance commuting determined by a distant place of work or by specific life choices and especially residential choices? Moreover, the main scientific focus on job related mobilities leaves out all the mobility practices for leisure or tourism, which could fit with the notion of reversibility, like long distance excursion for the weekend for example. Contributions could therefore question the link between commuting practices and job activity or focus on reversible mobility for leisure reasons.

Announcement

Argument

During the last 50 years, an incredible space-time compression, previously unseen in human history, emerged (Harvey, 1989). Time and space barriers seem to disappear as a result of economical globalisation and development of new transportation and communication systems. Indeed, the contemporary capitalist dynamics gradually weakened national institutional barriers in order to globalize economical and financial flows. At the same time, transportation systems, be it road, railway or aerial, have significantly improved, allowing a larger transportation capacity for persons and goods, at a higher speed and a lower cost. Finally, new technologies of communication now enable the immediacy of information transmission all over the world. All these elements contributed to create a mobile world and an injunction around mobility and flexibility (Boltanski, Chiappello 1999 ; Harvey 1989). They also participated to a general acceleration of contemporary way of life (Rosa 2010 ; Mongin 2011) but also deeply transformed people’s way of travel, frequency, spatial extent and speed of travel. One of the major consequences of those transformations is the rise of new mobility patterns, sometimes called intensive and extensive mobilities (see for example : Elliott, Urry, 2010) or high mobilities (Schneider, Meil (eds.) 2008 ; Schneider, Collet (eds) 2010), all these expressions underlying their spatial and time intensity. For our part, we prefer the expression of « reversible mobilities » that explicitly refers to the fact that these are back and forth mobilities representing a reversible uses of the territory and networks (Vincent Geslin et Kaufmann 2012). These mobilities are characterized by long distance trips but on short temporality, the use of rapid transport systems and remote connexions. On a theoretical point of view, they are opposed to irreversible mobilities, like relocation or migration. Sometimes people must make trade-offs between these two types of mobility; for instance, accepting long distance commuting in order to avoid relocation (Limmer & Schneider, 2008).

This call for paper aims at exploring the different dimensions of these reversible mobilities, of which long distance commuting and multi-residence are typical forms. In the existing literature, these mobilities have been studied mainly through their links with employment (Ravalet, 2012). Nevertheless, their entire determination by job reasons is questionable: is long distance commuting determined by a distant place of work or by specific life choices and especially residential choices? Moreover, the main scientific focus on job related mobilities leaves out all the mobility practices for leisure or tourism, which could fit with the notion of reversibility, like long distance excursion for the weekend for example. Contributions could therefore question the link between commuting practices and job activity or focus on reversible mobility for leisure reasons.

Main themes

More precisely, we are expecting papers answering the following questions:

1- How is the development of reversible mobilities associated with rapid transport systems and communication technologies?

This question aims at evaluating the role of speed and telecommunication in the development of mobilities and vice-versa, on several levels. First, from the point of view of mobile people: what are their uses of speed and information and communication tools (ICT)? What do gain from these usages in their mobility practices? Second, at the institutional and political level, to what extent are the rapid transport systems an answer to the development of reversible mobilities? To what extent do they contribute to their development? What kind of policies could be imagined and implemented to anticipate the saturation of rapid transportation networks?

2- Do reversible mobilities require from mobile people particular skills, concerning travel, spatial-temporal organization, activities management, etc.?

Beyond skills, there is also the question of the perception of such reversible mobility practices: to what extent the modes of travel comfort themselves influence travel experience? How is reversible mobility experienced by those who practice it, in relation with their personal skills and habits of travel? Under which conditions are these mobilities experienced and perceived in a positive way, even as a pleasure?

3- Are reversible mobilities associated with particular spatial relation?

This is to reflect on the multiple anchors that hold - or not - the people practising reversible forms of mobility, like residential, social or cultural anchors. Are these reversible mobilities associated to a desire of residential sedentariness? Or a desire to conserve cultural and institutional references, that would be more scrambled in the case of relocation?

4- Finally, to what extend are these forms of mobility the medium of new kind of inequalities, and especially gender inequalities?

Effectively, access to speed, ICT and rapid transportation systems are very differentiated and therefore a vector of inequalities. What are the prominent elements of these inequalities? Are they similar to classical social inequalities, as income or gender, or are they new kind of inequalities? If that is the case, are they raising new social issues? In other words, are reversible mobilities reshaping the form of social and spatial fragmentation?

Instructions for authors and paper submission

  • Call for publication: 30th September 2013
  • Deadline for full papers: 14th March 2014
  • First feedback to the authors: 20th June 2014
  • Final version of papers: 26th September 2014
  • Publishing of the special issue: around one year after the call

Editorial board of the special issue

  • Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin, LaSUR, EPFL, Suisse
  • Emmanuel Ravalet, LaSUR, EPFL, Suisse
  • Vincent Kaufmann, LaSUR, EPFL, Suisse

The papers will be submitted through the website of RTS following the instructions of Springer Publisher with key word hmobil.

The content of the papers will be reviewed from two independent referees following the classical procedure of publications within RTS. 


Papers in English will be accepted only for non-French speaking Authors!

References

  • Boltanski L. Chiappello E., 1999, Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Paris, Gallimard.
  • ‪Elliott A., ‪Urry J., 2010, Mobile lives, Routledge.
  • Harvey D., 1989, The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell, Mass.
  • Limmer, R. & Schneider, N.F. (2008). Studying Job-Related Spatial Mobility in Europe. In N.F. Schneider & G. Meil (Eds.), Mobile Living Across Europe I. Relevance and Diversity of Job-Related Spatial Mobility in Six European Countries (pp. 13-46). Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich Verlag.
  • Mongin O., 2011, « Questions de mobilité (connexions, vitesses, accès et espaces publics), in Gay C., Kaufmann V., Landriève S., Vincent-Geslin S., 2011, Mobile, Immobile, Quels choix, quels droits pour 2030. Choices and rights for 2030, tome 1, La Tour d'Aigues : éditions de l'aube, pp. 86-96.
  • Ravalet, 2012, « Mobilités réversibles », repère, Forum Vies Mobiles http://fr.forumviesmobiles.org/reperes/mobilites-reversibles-462
  • Rosa H., 2010, Accélération : Une critique sociale du temps, La Découverte, coll. « Théorie critique ».
  • Scheider N., Collet B. (eds.), 2010, Mobile Living across Europe II.Causes and consequences of job-related spatial mobility in cross-national comparison, Leverkusen Opladen: Barbara Budrich.
  • Schneider N.F., Meil G. (eds), 2008, Mobile living across Europe I, Relevance and Diversity of Job-Related Spatial Mobility in Six European Countries, Leverkusen Opladen: Barbara Budrich.
  • Vincent-Geslin S., Kaufmann V. (eds.), 2012, Mobilité sans racine. Plus loin, plus vite… plus mobiles ?, éditions Descartes & Cie, collection Cultures Mobiles.

 

Date(s)

  • Friday, March 14, 2014

Keywords

  • mobilité, vitesse, technologies de communication, développement

Contact(s)

  • Stéphanie Vincent Geslin
    courriel : stephanie [dot] vincent [at] epfl [dot] ch

Information source

  • Stéphanie Vincent Geslin
    courriel : stephanie [dot] vincent [at] epfl [dot] ch

To cite this announcement

« The new uses of speed », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, October 08, 2013, https://calenda.org/261294

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