Modes and Moods of Mobility: Tourists and Commuters


  • Orvar Löfgren European Ethnology, University of Lund, Sweden



Tourism, commuting, mobility, affect, materiality, ethnography


What can we learn from comparing different modes and moods of travel, among, for example, tourists and commuters? This paper contrasts these two very different kinds of mobility, and the ways in which they organise both motion and emotion. It is not only a question about how people interact with various systems of transport, but also how materialities and affects work together. An important topic is the question of how people acquire travelling skills. How do they learn to be a tourist or a commuter, to handle a train ride, navigate a transit space, or interact with strangers? A good reason to contrast commuters and tourists is also because they have often been studied within very different research paradigms. How can these different research traditions be put into a dialogue with each other, and help to develop methods for capturing the often elusive ways in which motion and emotion work together?


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Motion and Emotion