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Black Moves

Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities

Tim Cresswell

Abstract

This article explores the mutual constitution of blackness and mobility in the context of the United States. Using insights gained from the interdisciplinary field of mobility studies, it argues that mobilities have played a key role in the definition of blackness (particularly black masculinity) at the same time as blackness has been mapped onto particular forms of mobility. The article is constructed through a series of suggestive vignettes moving backward through time that illustrate continuities in the way forms of movement, narratives of mobility, and mobile practices have intersected with representations of African-American male bodies. Examples include end-zone celebrations in American. football, stop and frisk procedures in New York City, the medical pathologization of runaway slaves, and the Middle Passage of the slave trade.

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Heidi Morrison, James S. Finley, Daniel Owen Spence, Aaron Hatley, Rachael Squire, Michael Ra-shon Hall, Stéphanie Vincent-Geslin, Sibo Chen, Tawny Andersen, and Stéphanie Ponsavady

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Ceasing Fire and Seizing Time

LA Gang Tours and the White Control of Mobility

Sarah Sharma and Armonds R. Towns

Abstract

LA Gang Tours went on its inaugural ride through Los Angeles in 2010. Black and Latino former gang members from South Los Angeles lead the bus tours, sharing personal stories of gang life with mostly white tourists. A popular critique of the tour is that it facilitates a tourist gaze. However, we argue that to focus on the tourist gaze misses a more pressing opportunity to examine the production of whiteness. We shift the focus to consider the bus’s movement and the power it exerts in transforming the spatial and temporal dynamics of South Los Angeles. Based on participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and discourse analysis of materials surrounding the tours, we found that the tour lays the figurative foundations for gentrification and reconfirms a white control of mobility in the neighborhood. This white control of mobility extends beyond Los Angeles to impact the lives of people of color throughout the United States.

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Gijs Mom and Georgine Clarsen

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“Four Guys and a Hole in the Floor”

Racial Politics of Mobility and Excretion among BC-Based Long Haul Truckers

Amie McLean

Abstract

In this article, I map out the foundational context and procedural dynamics through which the normative status of the white male trucker is achieved and maintained in the British Columbia-based long haul trucking industry. I pay particular attention to the dehumanizing racism and masculine subordination directed toward South Asian truckers. Drawing on ethnographic data, I socially and historically situate these dynamics in relation to Canadian national mythologies, practices of nation building, and the neoliberal organization of trucking labor. To provide a richly detailed analysis of precisely how these narrative dynamics shape hierarchies of race and mobility in the industry, I examine a pervasive, racializing story among white truckers concerning workplace politics and practices of excretion.

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Ghana ThinkTank

Black Lives Matter Guerrilla Street Signs

Christopher Robbins, Maria del Carmen Montoya, and John Ewing

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Mobilizing a “Spiritual Geography”

The Art and Child Artists of the Carrolup Native School and Settlement, Western Australia

Ellen Percy Kraly and Ezzard Flowers

Abstract

As a result of removal and custody of Noongar children from their families and lands—forced mobilities and immobilties over decades, and within days and nights—a distinctive and beautiful artistic heritage emerged. This material heritage, too, was moved through and from Noongar country. Illustrated by the art of Carrolup, the culture and identity of the Noongar people has been transcendent and a “spiritual geography” mapped. As “heart returns home” to Noongar country, there are opportunities for new approaches to the reconciliation of the past for the future. The beauty of the art and the story of Carrolup teach, inspire, and provoke. These mobilities and immobilities hold lessons that continue to travel.

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Somy Kim

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Ocean, Motion, Emotion

Mobilities and Mobilizations in the Pacific

Matt Matsuda

Abstract

The Pacific is a constantly shifting domain of cultures, encounters, and natural phenomena. As such, histories of the Pacific are marked by transits, circuits, and displacements, both intentional and unintentional. By sketching out examples from the sailing voyages of the open-ocean canoe Hokule‘a, to the enslavement of a South Asian woman transported on the Spanish galleons, to the Australian government’s contested policy for dealing with seaborne refugees, to the challenges posed to low-lying islands by rising sea levels, we see how peoples in motion underscore so much of global history.

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Race and the Micropolitics of Mobility

Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service

Bradley Rink

Abstract

This article takes an autoethnographic approach in exploring the micropolitics of mobility with particular reference to race, class, and identity on one South African bus service. For his daily commute between an inner-city Cape Town suburb and a worksite near the metropolitan edge, the author explores personal, embodied, and political dimensions of mobility in a context where race continues to dictate the expected parameters of mobility practice. When socioeconomics might allow for private car ownership and use (and when timegeographies almost require it), the autoethnography at the heart of this article requires the author to question the politics of choosing not to drive; to be a public transport passeng er when one is expected to be a driver. In spite of the author’s intentional status in the member group of bus passengers, experience of six months of everyday bus use sheds light on hidden dimensions of mobility inequality. It contributes toward filling a gap in empirical evidence on contemporary bus passengering and the continuing role of race in contexts of visibly differentiated and differentiating everyday mobility.