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Cycling the city: movement, meaning and method

Spinney, Justin ORCID: 2009. Cycling the city: movement, meaning and method. Geography Compass 3 (2) , pp. 817-835. 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2008.00211.x

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Conceptualisations of movement and mobility within geography are increasingly complicating reductive and sedentarist understandings that have tended to theorise mobility either as meaningless, or as the practical outcome of ‘rational’ decision makers. Until quite recently there has been a sedentarist bias in cultural geographic enquiry that has resulted in negative readings of mobility as insensate, polluting and harmful. Conversely, while transport geography has long explored people's daily mobility, it has used a primarily quantitative toolkit to explore the ‘rational’ reasons why movement occurs. The corollary of this has been an assumption that meaning is derived from points A and B, and an emphasis on explaining travel choice by eliciting linguistic accounts of movement. More recent research has begun to problematise such understandings and in doing so illuminate potential avenues of enquiry. Consequently, this review makes an argument for research into cycling to explore the content of the line between A and B in order to highlight the often fleeting and ephemeral meanings that can contribute significantly to what movement means. An essential part of this project is for research to focus on the ‘immaterial’ embodied and sensory aspects of mobility that have previously been neglected or marginalised. In order to realise these goals, this article also makes a case for broadening out the palette of methods used to study mobility and discusses the use of video as one possible way to provide more nuanced accounts of people's journeys.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1749-8198
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:13

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