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OPINIONS

Capitalism and collective action in the work of John Urry (II)

Javier Caletrío

16/07/2018

This is the second of a two-entry series of Café Braudel on capitalism and collective action in the work of John Urry, one of the scholars who has advocated most forcefully a ‘mobilities turn’ in the social sciences. In the previous entry I introduced one of Urry’s seminal books, The End of Organized Capitalism (1987), and noted an enduring concern with collective action in his work and, more specifically, in his mobile sociology. This entry introduces Economies of Signs and Space, another…

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OPINIONS

JEAN-PIERRE MARTIN – L’EXCITATION FERROVIAIRE

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

Born in 1948, French writer Jean-Pierre Martin became a professor of contemporary literature at the University of Lyon 2, after literature studies that culminated in a thesis on Henri Michaux. Meanwhile, as he himself confides, he lived several lives, first as a student, then a left-wing proletarian and labor activist. Travel and jazz have also played an important role throughout the years. His extensive bibliography continues to grow at a steady pace. His most recent work, L'autre vie d'Orwell…

Thematics : Lifestyles, Theories

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OPINIONS

Jeremy Deller: The Reenchantment Of Public Transportation

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

“It's like some psychological warfare on the customer.” In response to an invitation from London transportation officials, artist Jeremy Deller chose to insert somewhat provocative philosophical messages in ads aimed at commuters. For instance, we hear a female driver citing Gandhi, or Sartre’s famous quote “Hell is other people,” shedding a philosophical light on issues such as promiscuity, which concern passengers directly.

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OPINIONS

SOMEWHERE, SOFIA COPPOLA - THE CAR AS A SOCIAL MASK

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

We have chosen the film Somewhere not only for the variety of mobility-related concepts it addresses, but also for the fact that it explores and illustrates two major aspects of this domain that are central to the current interests in the social sciences in a particularly rich and relevant way: mobility as social change, and the question of speed as associated with the myth of the automobile, and its opposite — the slow.

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OPINIONS

EXISTENZ, DAVID CRONENBERG - LIQUID LIFE: A CASE STUDY

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

eXistenZ is a film that has the potential to greatly inspire research in that it frontally challenges the virtualization of our existence through technology by offering a comparison between the real world, in which we continue to live and evolve, and a world made from scratch. Only this kind of artistic support, it seems, can address this topic in such a comprehensive manner, and thus tackle social science concepts from a new angle.

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OPINIONS

Christoph fink : objective information and subjective experience

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

“Touch time, touch space, touch experience…and we find ourselves surprised by the indescribable, the untouchable. A brief and intense moment of awareness.”

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OPINIONS

MARTIN PARR - a photographic testimonial on the automobile

Hanja Maksim

16/07/2018

“When I first bought the car I couldn’t wait to catch a reflection of myself in a shop window. It’s terribly embarrassing to admit but I really enjoyed seeing myself in the car”.

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OPINIONS

Slow is beautiful. Or is it? John Berger on riding a bike

Javier Caletrío

12/07/2018

Experienced at once as an aspiration and a burden, speed is a much contested mark of modern lives which seems to have no place in visions of sustainable futures. Art critic John Berger has written thought-provoking passages about the thrills of riding a motor bike.

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CROSSED PERSPECTIVES

Is mobility the answer to poverty ?

Leslie Belton Chevallier, Giulio Mattioli

24/04/2017

Is access to employment, services and leisure merely a matter of mobility for the most disadvantaged? What are the obstacles and alternatives? These are some of the questions Leslie Belton Chevallier and Giuilio Mattioli attempt to answer.

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CONTROVERSIES

The future of cars: triumph or decline?

Francis Papon , Mathieu Flonneau

13/01/2017

Over the last decade, the future of cars has been at the heart of controversy that has been the subject of numerous prospective studies. This controversy is not about the need for an energy transition – whose advent is no longer a subject of debate - but more about the role of cars in the future. Should the use of cars be called into question? What policies should be implemented? What should the role of cars be?

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CONTROVERSIES

Living environments and leisure mobility: challenging the compact city

Sébastien Munafò, Marc Pearce (Mobile Lives Forum)

28/11/2016

Should we advocate for the compact city? Geographer Sébastien Munafò defends the indispensability of this model, particularly for its environmental qualities and the urbanity it fosters. Marc Pearce of the Mobile Lives Forum, on the other hand, feels it is crucial to consider, instead, many lifestyles in presence in city areas such as Geneva or Zurich and the diversity of living environments they require.

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CROSSED PERSPECTIVES

Motility and viscosity: a new understanding of mobility for better policy making

07/06/2016

Through the study of mobility practices in Australia and European countries, sociologists Catherine Doherty and Vincent Kaufmann develop two different but complementary analyses of mobility potential on an individual and contextual level. Will these new concepts help further our understanding of mobility practices and renew public action in very different national contexts? Both authors feel this will be the case and explain why.

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