To Practice Mobility - On a Small Scale


  • Ida Wentzel Winther Department of Education, University of Aarhus, Denmark



Mobility, children as commuters, everyday life, field walk, bodily micro-practices, coping strategies, social navigation, friction, motion and emotion.


Children’s perspectives are practically absent in new mobility studies. In this article, I wish to describe and analyse how a number of children handle having to move between homes, parents and siblings, and how they practically, emotionally and socially navigate in this changeable landscape. My aim is to explore mobility as an embodied and emotional practice in which children employ different strategies. I focus on bodily micropractices, routines and coping strategies, the intermediate space that occurs on their continual journeys, and the feeling of being dispensable. It is an ethnographic exploration of how mobile and domestic lives are intertwined – on a small scale.


Alzaga, Maria (2007): ‘The Travelling Lives of Circus Artists. Home and Homelessness in a Nomardic Life’, Regina Bendix & Orvar Löfgren (eds) Ethnologia Europaea, 37:1-2, 51- 56. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.

Auge, Marc (1995): Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, New York: Verso.

Bauman, Zygmunt (1998): Globalization, New York: Columbia University Press.

Bendix, Regina & Orvar Löfgren (2007): ‘Double Homes, Double Lives?’, Regina Bendix & Orvar Löfgren (eds) Ethnologia Europaea, 37:1-2, 51-56.

Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.

Certeau, Michel de (1984): The Practice of Everyday Life, Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press.

Cresswell, Tim & Peter Merriman (2011): Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects, Burlington: Ashgate.

Derrida, Jacques (2000): Of Hospitality, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Deleuze, Gielles (1987) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press.

Ehn, Billy & Orvar Löfgren (2010): Doing Nothing, University of California Press.

Frykman, Jonas & Orvar Löfgren (2005): ‘Kultur och känslar’, Sosiologi i dag, 35: 1.

Frykman, Jonas & Nils Gilja (2003): Being there: new perspectives on phenomenology and the analysis of culture, Lund: Nordic Academic Press.

Gulløv, Eva, Charlotte Palludan & Ida W. Winther (2014): ‘Engaging Siblingships’, Childhood. p.14. Published November 7.

Henare Amiria, Holbraad Martin & Wastell Sari (2007): Thinking through Things: Theorizing Artefacts Ethnographically, New York: Routledge.

Hochschild, Arlie (1983). The Managed Heart, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.

Højholt Charlotte, Mariane Hedegaard, Karin Aronsson & Oddbjørg Skjær Ulvik (eds) (2012): Children, Childhood and Everyday Life Children’s Perspectives, Information Age Publishing, incorporated.

Horner, Mark W (2004) ‘Spatial Dimensions of Urban Commuting: A Review of Major Issues and Their Implications for Future Geographic Research’, The Professional Geographer, 56:2, 160-173.

Ingold, Tim (2008): Ways of Walking. Ethnography and Practice on Foot, Cornwall: Mixed Sources.

Kousholt Dorte (2011): Børnefællesskaber og familieliv: børns hverdagsliv på tværs af daginstitution og hjem, København: Dansk Psykologisk Forlag.

Lidén Hilde (2005): Mangfoldig barndom. Hverdagskunnskap og hierarki blant skolebarn, Oslo: Thesis.

Lynggaard Aviaja B (2012): Homing Interactions: -Tactics and Concepts for Highly Mobile Peo-ple, PhD dissentation. Kunstakademiets arkitektskole.

Löfgren, Orvar (2008): ‘Motion and Emotion: Learning to be a Railway Traveller’, Mobilities, 3:3. 331-351.

Miller, Daniel (2008b): The Comfort of Things, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik (2013): (accessed 06 May 2015).

Olwig, Kenneth R (2008): ‘Performing on the Landscape versus Doing Landscape’. In Walking in the Fields. Pp 81-92. Hamshire: Ashgate.

Palludan, Charlotte & Ida W. Winther (forthcoming): “‘Having my own room would be really cool’: Children’s rooms as the social and material organising of siblings”.

Petersen Marianne Graves, Aviaja B Lynggaard, Peter Krogh & Ida W. Winther (2010): ‘Tactics for Homing in Mobile Life – A Fieldwalk Study of Extremely Mobile People’. MobileHCI 2010 September 7 - 10, 2010, Lisboa, Portugal. ACM 978-1-60558-835-3

Rapport Nigel & Andrew Dawson (1998): Migrants of Identity. Oxford &New York: Berg.

Rushdie, Samuel (1994): East, West: Stories. London: Vintage Books.

Scheer Monica (2012) ‘Are Emotions a Kind of Practice (and is That What Makes Them Have a History)? A Bourdieuian Approach to Understanding Emotion’. In History and Theory, 51; Wesleyan University, 193-220.

Thrift, Nigel. (2008): Non-Representational Theory, London: Routledge.

Tsing Anna L (2004): Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton University Press.

Urry, John (2007): Mobilities. London: Polity.

Vannini, Phillip (2010): ‘Mobile Cultures: From the Sociology of Transportation to the Study of Mobilities’, Sociology Compass, 4:2, 111–121. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2009.00268.x

Vannini, Phillip (2012): Ferry Tales: Mobility, Place, and Time on Canada's West Coast . Roughledges. Innovative Ethnographies: (accessed 06 May 2015).

Vannini, Phillip (2012b): ‘Non-Representational Theory and Ethnographic Research’: (accessed 06 May 2015).

Vigh, Henrik (2009): ‘Motion squared – a second look at the concept of social navigation’, An-thropology Theory, 9:4, 419-438 doi: 10.1177/1463499609356044

Vigh, Henrik & David B Sausdal (2014): ‘From essence back to existence: Anthropology beyond the ontological turn’, Anthropological Theory, 14:49. doi: 10.1177/1463499614524401

Winther, Ida W. (2006): Hjemlighed – kulturfænomenologisk studier , Copenhagen: The Danish University of Education Press.

Winther, Ida W (2007a): ‘Tilgængelig, nærværende og potentielt fraværende – om unges mobiltelefoni’, Dansk Sociologi, 18:2.

Winther, Ida W (2007b): ‘Kids’ rooms as Plus territory’, Pedro Silva (ed.): INTERACÇÕES NO. 2, 9-26: (accessed 06 May 2015).

Winther, Ida W. (2009): ‘To home oneself’ – homes as a practice’, Barbara Penner & Daniel Pav-lovits (eds) Haecceity Papers Vol 04:2.

Winther Ida W, Charlotte Palludan, Eva Gulløv & Mads M. Rehder (2014): Hvad er søskende – praktiske og følsomme forbindelser, København: Akademisk Forlag.




How to Cite

Wentzel Winther, I. (2015) “To Practice Mobility - On a Small Scale”, Culture Unbound, 7(2), pp. 215–231. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572215.



Motion and Emotion