Mis bookmarks 2: ciencias sociales y movilidades

En los tres últimos años, una gran cantidad de trabajos sobre diferentes formas de movilidades se han hecho cada vez más usuales en las ciencias sociales. Ya no sólo se trabaja sobre las formas físicas de traslado, como los viajes y la migración, sino que además las estrategias virtuales asociadas con formas de desplazamiento se han convertido en atractivos objetos de estudio. La navegación vía Web, la comunicación inalámbrica, los dispositivos portátiles, son algunos de los objetos que usualmente aparecen allí, junto a otras formas más tradicionales de movilidad, como el automóvil o los recorridos que realizamos cotidianamente hacia el trabajo. Les dejo aquí una selección de tres textos muy interesantes, todos ellos en inglés.

El primero de ellos, Nomadic technology devices and hybrid communication places, de Adriana Araujo De Souza e Silva, es un trabajo realmente impresionante. Una tesis de doctorado notablemente exhaustiva, que revisa la concepción de lo virtual como espacio; para ello, por ejemplo, analiza a Internet como espacio de sociabilidad. De particular interés para esta selección sobre movilidad es el capítulo 6, “Nomadic technology Devices: combining mobility and communication”. Eso sí: el trabajo supera las 400 páginas, así que tendrán que hacerse de paciencia para leerlo.

Nomadic technology devices and hybrid communication places, Adriana Araujo De Souza e Silva. “This dissertation addresses how mobile communication technologies, with a focus on cell phones, have an active role in creating new types of communication and social networks in a hybrid space formed by the blurring of borders between physical and digital spaces. It analyzes the transference of social places from cyberspace to hybrid spaces. Nomadic technology devices are responsible for producing new social networks in a space that interconnects the physical and the virtual due to their users’ perpetual mobility. During the last decade, multiuser environments in cyberspace have frequently been regarded as utopian spaces in which users could project their imagination. Moreover, digital spaces have been considered as essentially disconnected from physical spaces. Nowadays, the constant connection to virtual spaces, allowed by new mobile communication technologies, transforms our social spaces, as well as the projection of our imaginary places in urban spaces. This research is based on theoretical and practical studies. First, I analyze the existing literature on cyberspace and mobile technology devices, emphasizing concepts such as virtual, cyberspace, immersion, and hybrid. Practical aspects include analysis of current practices, via interviews with artists and scholars and an Internet survey applied in the United States and in Brazil”. Este texto fue visto originalmente en Purse Lips Square Jaw.

Pioneering Mobilities. New Patterns of Movement and Motility in a Mobile World
, Sven Kesselring, Reflexive Modernization Research Centre (SFB 536) Universität der Bundeswehr. “The article presents empirical data from a research project on mobility pioneers. It shows new mobility patterns and constellations of mobility and immobility, movement and motility (mobility potential). The author raises the question as to whether the reported subject-oriented strategies for coping with the modern ‘mobility imperative’ open up a perspective on a structural change in the modern concept of mobility and mobility practice. The theory of reflexive modernization is used to discuss this question and to help to understand the relevance of the empirical findings. In concluding, the paper focuses on further mobility research and introduces a distinction between ‘transit spaces’ and ‘connectivity spaces’ as relevant issues for research on new configurations of spatial, social and virtual mobility”.

Mobility Pioneers Networks, scapes and flows between first and second modernity, Sven Kesselring & Gerlinde Vogl. “The background of this paper is a research project in the Reflexive Modernization Research Centre in Munich, Germany.2 The project title is “Pioneers of Mobility. Structural Changes in Mobility under Conditions of Reflexive Modernization? (see www.sfb536.mwn.de). We started in 1999 and will end in 2005. The primary research question is how so called mobility pioneers from the IT branch, the media industry and the German armed forces socially construct their mobility in relation to social, material and virtual worlds. What we want to know is how mobility pioneers are embedded or dis-embedded in or from social, material and virtual networks. We ask how these networks influence, support and limit the actors’ mobility, i.e. their competence to realize own projects and plans while being on the move. Mobility, we suppose, is a social concept in transformation. The modern notion of mobility is strongly entangled with the idea that spatial (e.g. physical) movement is a major dynamic factor of modernization (Zorn 1977, Zapf 1993, 1998). We want to investigate if the importance of physical movement for the social construction of (modern) mobility is getting weaker. We ask: could it be that virtual mobility will be the paradigmatic and socially shaping concept for “Alternative Mobility Futures?? In order to indicate a trace of an answer to these complex questions this paper shows the specific project approach to empirical data and interpretation. It gives a short introduction into the theoretical framework and demonstrates why a subtly differentiated terminology in mobility research is sensible, helpful and opens up new insights in non-directional mobility”.

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