Small in number but great in influence, mobile elites have shaped the contours of global capitalism. Today these elites continue to flourish globally but in a changing landscape. The current economic crisis—and rising concerns about the moral legitimacy of extreme wealth—coincides with stern warnings over the risks posed by climate change and the unsustainable use of resources. Often an out-of-bounds topic in critical social science, elites are thought of as too inaccessible a group to interview and too variable a minority to measure.
This groundbreaking collection sets out to challenge this perception. Through the careful examination of the movements of the one per cent through the everyday spaces of the ninety-nine per cent, Elite Mobilities investigates the shared zones elites inhabit alongside the commons: the executive lounge in the airport, the penthouse in the hotel, or the gated community next to the slum. Bringing together the pioneer scholars in critical sociology today, this collection explores how social scientists can research, map, and ‘track’ the flows and residues of objects, wealth and power surrounding the hypermobile.
Elite Mobilities sets a new benchmark in social science efforts to research the powerful and the privileged. It will appeal to students and scholars interested in mobilities, transport, tourism, social stratification, class, inequality, consumption, and global environmental change.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Movement of the Few by Thomas Birtchnell and Javier Caletrío 2. Elsewhere: Tracking the Mobile Lives of Globals by Anthony Elliott 3. Wealth Segmentation and the Mobilities of the Super-Rich: A Conceptual Framework by Jonathan V. Beaverstock and James R. Faulconbridge 4. Elite Formation in the Third Industrial Revolution by Thomas Birtchnell, Gil Viry and John Urry 5. Aeromobile Elites: Private Business Aviation and the Global Economy by Lucy Budd 6. Super-Rich Lifestyles by Mike Featherstone 7. The Ease of Mobility by Shamus Rahman Khan 8. The Uneven Pragmatics of ‘Affordable’ Luxury Tourism in Inland Yucatán (México) by Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Ana García Silberman and Juan Córdoba Ordóñez 9. Visible-Invisible: The Social Semiotics of Labour in Luxury Tourism by Crispin Thurlow and Adam Jaworski 10. ‘This is Not Me’: Conspicuous Consumption and the Travel Aspirations of the European Middle Classes by Javier Caletrío 11. Tracing the Super Rich and their Mobilities in a Scandinavian Welfare State by Malene Freudendal-Pedersen 12. The Super-Rich and Offshore Worlds by John Urry 13. Epilogue: The Bodies, Spaces and Tempo of Elite Formations by Mimi Sheller 14. Postscript: Elite Mobilities and Critique by Andrew Sayer
Thomas Birtchnell is Lecturer in Geography and Sustainable Communities at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
Javier Caletrío is Research Fellow at the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University, UK.
"Important and accessible for students of elites everywhere... Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." – J Borchert, emeritus, Cleveland State University, Choice Review