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On the Move | Making Money for Research 16 June 2017

16th June 2017

This event combines a morning of research presentations from international Cemore visitors and associates with an afternoon workshop on research funding bid writing.

Speakers include: David Bissell, Australian National University, Monika Büscher, Centre for Mobilities Research; Martin Emmanuel, Uppsala University, Sweden; Marta Olcoń-Kubicka, Polish Academy of Sciences; Claus Lassen, Aalborg University, Denmark; Stephanie Sodero, Centre for Mobilities Research

The morning presentations explore a range of different topics from a mobilities perspective, seeking to explore intersections with other theoretical approaches, methodologies and empirical issues. The full abstracts are shown below. The afternoon bid writing workshop is open to all theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches, there is no expectation that research ideas should be about mobilities.

All are welcome and students are given priority for the afternoon workshop. Please register here (open until 15th June). Max number of participants 20. Early registration is recommended.


09:00-09:30     Coffee

09:30-10:00     Airport city futures: Rethinking business travel
                            Claus Lassen, Aalborg University

10:00-10:30     Traffic signals and pedestrian practices in Stockholm in the interwar period
                            Martin Emmanuel, Uppsala University

10:30-11:00     Coffee

11:00-11:30     Digital mediation of household calculation and valuation practices
                          Marta Olcoń-Kubicka, Polish Academy of Sciences

11:30-12:00     Vital mobilities: Blood
                           Stephanie Sodero, Centre for Mobilities Research

12:00-12:30     Labour, automation and mobile lives
                            David Bissell, Australian National University

12:30-13:30     Lunch

13:30-14:30     3 minute staff/student presentations – my research

14:30-15:00     Research Funding Bid Writing – Successes, Failures, Experiences, Drive
                            Monika Büscher

15:00-16:45     Research Funding Bid Writing Workshop (+ coffee)

16:45-17:30     Group presentations & Close

In the ‘bid writing’ workshop you will work in groups to sketch individual or interdisciplinary bids that are about or contain your research. There is no limit to topics (it does not have to be ‘mobilities’ related).

Participants are warmly invited and encouraged to attend the whole day, but may also join just the morning or the afternoon session (from 12:30 lunch or 13:30).

Staff and students joining the afternoon session must prepare a 2-3 minute presentation. This should answer: What are you researching? Why? How? If you want to use slides, you must send them to Aurora Trujillo by Thursday 15th June 10am. Trujillo, Aurora a.trujillo@lancaster.ac.uk

Please contact m.buscher@lancaster.ac.ukj.deville@lancaster.ac.uk, and a.trujillo@lancaster.ac.uk if you have questions.

We look forward to working with you,

Monika, Joe and Anne


Airport City Futures: Rethinking Business Travel Claus Lassen, Aalborg University

This presentation focuses on the research design of the new research project Airport City Futures (AirCiF). The presentation will introduce the research ideas behind the project as well as the research design. The presentation invites people to come up with inputs and reflections on the project’s possible methods, theories and empirical focus in this early stage of the project. AirCiF focuses on aeromobilities with a point of departure in Copenhagen Airport and Danish aviation. This is done through an inquiry that, as the first of its kind, will analyse management, planning and design factors of aeromobilities, and combine this with analyses of the user perspective, i.e. how aeromobilities are experienced by the passengers. AirCiF will be one of the first major international research project exploring air travel, airports and Airport Cities from the integrative and interdisciplinary socio-technical field of aeromobilities research. Giving special attention to the ‘super users’ of the airport, i.e. the business travellers. One of the main ambitions of the project will therefore also be to analyse the sociology of global work and international work-related business travel across different large and small businesses and industries that goes beyond meetingness and the need for co-presence.


Traffic signals and pedestrian practices in Stockholm in the interwar period Martin Emmanuel, Uppsala University

This talk will be based on my ongoing historical research into traffic lights as a traffic control device and pedestrians’ resistance to such control. As traffic lights were first introduced in Stockholm in the mid-1920s, they prescribed pedestrians to be careful and to give priority to other traffic. Pedestrians did not, however, straightforwardly subscribe to the ‘scripts’ of traffic experts; indeed, by experts as well as in the press, pedestrians were often framed as a particularly problematic road user group. Beginning in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, engineers in Stockholm experimented with different ways of enabling pedestrians to more smoothly and safely cross the street. Whether they lacked the competence or the will to adhere to traffic lights, such initiatives suggest that pedestrians adopted antiprograms to the scripts implemented through traffic lights, which eventually led to changes in (re-inscriptions of) the technology. The talk will put the contestations between pedestrians and experts centre stage and discuss them, like above, in Latourian terms (Akrich & Latour 1992) as well as in terms of social practice, as a dynamic interplay between pedestrians practices and those of experts and policy makers (Shove 2015).


Digital mediation of household calculation and valuation practices Marta Olcoń-Kubicka, Polish Academy of Sciences

Based on ethnographic research conducted in 28 young (up to 35-year-old) middle-class households in Warsaw this paper reports on the use of digital technologies of budgeting by Polish couples living and running a household together. Drawing on practice theory and culturally oriented sociology of money and working with evidence gathered among young Poles, this paper tracks everyday practices of calculation, valuation, and earmarking of domestic money. Many of the middle-class research participants bring home from the office the habit of using Excel spreadsheets, which they use to introduce order in their budgetary practices such as earning, spending and saving money, paying the bills, and shopping. Using the object-centered interviews focused on digital forms of finance management such as computer spreadsheets and mobile phones applications we observed the budgetary practices in the making. By keeping track of their finances in digital form couples produce a wide range of new data, as the Excel spreadsheets not only entail detailed categories and formulas, but also graphs that provide quick and comprehensible information about the current balance of the household and about the consumption fluctuations within particular categories month by month. The findings show that digital technologies not only enable and constrain economic action by prompting new practices in household financial budgeting, such as keeping the discipline and rationality in spending, but also they mobilize moral justifications by helping young couples to settle accounts between each other, enacting fairness and equality, togetherness or autonomy inside the couple.


Vital mobilities: Blood Stephanie Sodero, Centre for Mobilities Research



Labour, automation and mobile lives David Bissell, Australian National University

The spectre of intensified automation, especially in light of the development of robotics and AI, is currently one of the most heated issues being debated in the sphere of contemporary labour relations. Popular discourses on the topic typically attempt to grapple with evaluating whether intensified automation will usher in either utopian or dystopian futures. However, processes of intensified automation are riven with ambivalences and complexities that are ripe for critical mobilities analysis. In this paper, I show that many of the current debates on automation are characterised by a ‘new catastrophism’. In response, I argue how that the concept of the accident provides a productive counterpoint to these debates. With the help of critical social theory, I explain how the concept of the accident might open up useful potentials for thinking about automation, politics and progressive forms of socio-technical change. I present three ways of thinking about accidents each of which indicate how the material forces at play in the world are much richer and much more complex than more alarmist discourses of automation would have us believe.

Image Credit: Idea Lab MSPF




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