Mobility, Space and Culture
Routledge – 2012 – 214 pages
Over the past ten to fifteen years there has emerged an increasing concern with mobility in the social sciences and humanities. In Mobility, Space and Culture, Peter Merriman provides an important and timely contribution to the mobilities turn in the social sciences, encouraging academics to rethink the relationship between movement, embodied practices, space and place.
The book takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon theoretical and empirical work from across the social sciences and humanities to provide a critical evaluation of the relationship between 'mobility' and 'place'/'site', reformulating places as in process, open, and dynamic spatial formations. Merriman draws upon post-structuralist writings on space, practice and society to demonstrate how movement is not simply practised or experienced in relation to space and time, but gives rise to rhythms, forces, atmospheres, affects and materialities which are often more crucial to embodied apprehensions of events than sensibilities of spatiality and temporality. He draws upon detailed empirical research on experiences of, and social reactions to, driving in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain to trace how the motor-car became associated with sensations of movement-space and enmeshed with debates about embodiment, health, visuality, gender and politics.
The book will be essential reading for undergraduates and postgraduates studying mobility in sociology, geography, cultural studies, politics, transport studies, and history.
"Mobility, Space and Culture is a mature, well-written and meticulously researched book which walks a tightrope between a substantive theoretical contribution to mobilities scholarship and a fascinating examination of early motorists in Britain. I think it is a real achievement and it deserves to be widely read."— Peter Adey, Royal Holloway, University of London
Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction: Mobility, Space and Culture Part I: Mobility, Space and Place 2. Unpicking Time-Space: Towards New Understandings of Movement-Space 3. Mobility, Place, Placelessness Part II: Driving, Culture and Embodiment. Introduction to Part II. 4. Driving Sensations and Embodied Practices 5. Gendered Driving Bodies 6. Governing Driving Subjects Part III: Conclusion 7. Spatialising Mobile Cultures. References and notes.
Peter Merriman is a Reader in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, Wales. He is the author of Driving Spaces: A Cultural-Historical Geography of England’s M1 Motorway (Blackwell, 2007) and an editor of Geographies of Mobilities (Ashgate, 2011) and the forthcoming Handbook of Mobilities (Routledge, 2013).