Routledge – 2013 – 228 pages
In recent years, the social sciences have taken a ‘mobilities turn’. There has been a developing realisation that mobilities do not ‘just happen’. Mobilities are carefully and meticulously designed, planned and staged (from above). However, they are equally importantly acted out, performed and lived as people are ‘staging themselves’ (from below). Staging mobilities is a dynamic process between ‘being staged’ (for example, being stopped at traffic lights) and the ‘mobile staging’ of interacting individuals (negotiating a passage on the pavement).
Staging Mobilities is about the fact that mobility is more than movement between point A and B. It explores how the movement of people, goods, information, and signs influences human understandings of self, other and the built environment. Moving towards a new understanding of the relationship between movement, interaction and environments, the book asks: what are the physical, social, technical, and cultural conditions to the staging of contemporary urban mobilities?
Jensen argues that we need to understand the contemporary city as an assemblage of circulating people, goods, information and signs in relational networks creating the ‘meaning of movement’. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, urban studies, mobility studies, architecture and cultural studies.
"accessible and highly applicable… The book is well-written… [and] is especially promising for research seeking to put the material, design-based, architectural, and physically staged influences at the forefront of tourism research. Readers of sociology, geography, cultural studies, and urban studies inspired by the ‘‘mobilities turn’’ will find this book a source of inspiration. It will undoubtedly also benefit researchers interested in the (experience) design of mobility systems, especially so the ones dealing with the dynamics of tourist practices as embedded within—and choreographed on the basis of—physical settings, social interactions, and embodied performances." – Martin Trandberg Jensen, Annals of Tourism Research
"Staging Mobilities provides an illuminating analysis of how contemporary urban mobilities are shaped by a range of different interrelated processes of ‘staging’." – David Bissell, The Australian National University, in Cultural Geographies
"This is an accomplished book, theoretically informed, rich in detail and convincing in the use of illustrative case studies to exemplify the staging approach."— Kimberley Peters, Aberystwyth University
Part I: Staging Mobilities: Review and Positioning 1. Staging Mobilities: Introduction 2. The Mobile City: Reviewing and Positioning Part II: Framing Mobilities 3. Physical Settings, Material Spaces and Design 4. Facework, Flow and the City 5. Mobile Embodied Performances Part III: Practices of Mobilities 6. Networked Technologies and the Will to Connection 7. Negotiation in Motion: Unpacking a Geography of Mobility 8. Metro Mobilities: The Production of Lived Mobility in Urban Metro Systems Part IV: Towards a Sociology of Staging Mobilities 9. Materialities of Mobilities: Learning from the Design Fields 10. Staging Mobilities: Conclusion. Bibliography
Ole B. Jensen is Professor of Urban Theory at Aalborg University, Denmark. His main research interests are mobilities and urban studies. He is the co-author of Making European Space (with Tim Richardson, Routledge) and has published extensively on mobility research in the journals Mobilities, Culture and Space, and Urban Studies.