Immobilities: new challenges for anthropology in a globalised world (Young Scholars Plenary)

Matilde Córdoba Azcarate (University of San Diego)
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Short abstract:

This plenary aims to examine mobilities as an object of anthropological study in a globalised world. The plenary welcomes ethnographic case studies where mobilities and immobilities are at play.

Long abstract:

Today's world is on the move. People, ideas, images, information, objects, symbols and capitals circulate in complex material and virtual flows around the planet. Whether for pleasure or work, desired or forced, physical or virtual, mobility seems to have become the new condition of a globalised world (Bauman, 1994; Shéller and Urry, 2006). In such a mobile world, the capacity to move and to circulate becomes essential. Being mobile or immobile changes our perception of what is proximal and distant, it redefines boundaries, identities and, with them, our sense of belonging. The dialectics between mobilities and immobilities thus becomes an exceptional standpoint to reveal the diversity, inequalities and differences in the way we live and experience a globalised world. But, how can we gain ethnographic knowledge about this dialectic? How could ethnographic knowledge contribute to the understanding of mobilities and immobilities? And contrariwise: how does this new mobile condition affect ethnographic principles and techniques? How to define anthropological locations in this mobile world?

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