21. august 2014

Ph.d.-forsvar 10. november 2014: Making Everyday Mobility

A Qualitative Study of Family Mobility in Copenhagen

Ved: Simon Wind, swin@create.aau.dk Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Invitation to PhD defense: Making Everyday Mobility

This PhD study investigates the mobility of families with children in the Greater Copenhagen area and the central role mobility plays in the accomplishment of the families’ everyday life. Drawing on mobilities theory (Jensen 2013; Urry 2007) and family theory (Holdsworth 2013; Morgan 2011), the study seeks to address the understanding that family mobility is far from only a physical phenomenon instrumentally, displacing family members back and forth between activities and doings, but also a type of family practice (Morgan, 2011) carrying social and emotional repercussions. Mobility practices are not discrete elements but shaped in the relations between family members, parents and children, and their everyday activities and doings. Hence, the family’s mobility practices are part of an ensemble of everyday tasks, interrelating, interweaving and interlocking with each other, in what could be termed the family’s taskscape (Ingold 2000). Following this relational understanding, family mobility do not simply happen, rather the successful performance of everyday mobility is a creative and skilful process that requires labour, practice and competencies (Vannini 2012).

From this theoretical foundation, the study explores how the family seeks to cope with everyday life through the on-going making and performance of mobility practices. The study proposes this coping process of making and performing mobility practices in the relational family might be understood as creating elasticity. This enables enable family members through their mobility practices to stretch to accommodate the family members’ practical, social and emotional needs and wishes as well as adapt to the contingent and dynamic environment in which their everyday life is lived. In doing so the study highlights how specific configurations in the family mobility practices facilitate practical and instrumental movement of family members, but also how it engender care, quality time of togetherness, recreational and productive in-betweens, as well as sensorial and emotional experiences through the orchestration of affective atmospheres. Furthermore the study elucidates how the performances of these mobility practices themselves play an important role in the process of coping as family members micro-coordinate and re-order the family mobility on the move to avoid disruption and breakdown in the socio-temporal ordering of the family taskscape.

The study is empirically based on a mixed method framework primarily drawing on a series of in-depth qualitative family interviews with 11 families in the Greater Copenhagen area. This empirical data is assisted by GPS tracking data, urban mapping methods, visualisations, data from questionnaires and a small scale ethnographic field study of the performance of everyday mobility in Copenhagen. The study is part of the project ‘Analysis of activity-based travel chains and sustainable mobility’ (ACTUM), hosted by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), in a strategic research alliance with Aalborg University. The overall objective of ACTUM is to create a state-of-the-art transport model for the greater Copenhagen region. As part of ACTUM, this study will utilise the produced knowledge for discussing the possibility and potentials of using qualitative data and qualitative knowledge of everyday mobility in relation to transportation modelling.

Læs mere om Simon Winds ph.d.-projekt

Tid: 10. november 2014 kl. 13.00
Sted: Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg - room 3.329