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Review of Creswell's 'On the Move' Jonas R Bylund Caution: The final, definitive version of this paper has

been published in Urban Studies, 46(10), September/2009 by SAGE Publications Ltd./SAGE Publications, Inc., All rights reserved. Urban Studies Journal Ltd On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World, Tim Cresswell, 2006, New York, London: Routledge, 352 pp.; 13.99 paperback, ISBN 0-415-95256-5. Travel is more than just A to B. Travel should add some extra sparkle to your winter. (Hilton advertisement in Brussels Airline's in-flight magazine bthere, 2007) Urbanity often seems to be about proximities and distances, boundaries and displacements. They are stock of the trade in urbanism and planning, as they always refer to some orders and the management of those orders. Tim Cressewlls On the Move is set right on the operational concept which holds these variables: mobility. Mobility is central, Cresswell claims, for what it means to be human. Humans move around, quite simply even in the seemingly stationary activity of reading a book they are not really in situ. The book could thus be considered a part of the so-called mobility turn: it is an outline of the difference a mobility-approach makes in the analysis of the contemporary flow of things and their genealogies (cf. Sheller and Urry, 2006). The theme is how Western mobility has been shaped. However, a main issue for Cresswell is to foreground the politics of mobility. The text is then set at the intersection between mobile physical bodies and represented mobility, with the justification that one would miss the point if one tried to understand the one without the other. Which, in turn, leads to the proposition that movement is rarely just movement: it is always imbued with meaning. And the agenda for On the Move is to provide a figure of thought which helps out in the tracing of how movement is made meaningful. A distinction between movement and mobility is thus introduced. Movement denotes the bare fact of movement from A to B. Mobility, on the other hand, allows for an analysis of the politics, metaphysics, and materialities attached to a movement AB. A pertinent use, since The line that connects them, despite its apparent immateriality, is both meaningful and laden with power (On the Move, p. 9). The demonstration and development of this approach is a collection of reflections on mobility. They range over the examples of capturing movement in photography in the 19th century, Taylorism and workplace an domestic efficiency, dancing and decorum in the 1920s UK, juridical handling of mobile object-subjects, US citizenship and migration, Suffrage uses of mobility in the Boston campaign, and the contemporary production of mobilities at international airports via the example of Schiphol. The book follows a fairly classic figure of disposition: an introduction, a theory chapter, and then empirically based chapters but no summary discussion,

rather an epilogue on Katrina and New Orleans, and how the politics of mobility influenced the interpretation and management of the event. On the Move delivers a noteworthy critique for anyone interested in e.g. a citys communities and public spaces. In a proposed shift from a sedentarist metaphysics to a nomadic metaphysics, i.e. whether to to see fixity or flows as the normal state of things, place is argued to be, in the last instance, a conservative concept. As place is an essentially moral concept, mobility and movement, insofar as they undermine attachment and commitment, are antithetical to moral worlds (On the Move, p. 31). Cresswell gives place a similar treatment as organisation theory has given organisation lately: it is more and more seen as a provisional achievement and caught up in the activity of constantly organising, rather than a kind of natural state of order (cf. Chia, 1999). The political commentary of mobility is then linked to James C Scott and Michel Foucault, as the management of mobility is an effort of making human behaviour legible and sorting things out (Scott; Foucault, 1991). The conclusion to draw from the text: mobility is always managed somehow, by representational or material means. But not merely in a dry bureaucratic manor, since Power is not simply about control and regulation through denial, but about the production of pleasure itself (On the Move, p. 145). The proposed shift in thinking about flows rather than fixity (the shift from sedentarist metaphysics to nomadic metaphysics) is presented in a very clear way with a light hand. The style is light and easy, not much theory-heavy commentary. Little stories on how humans move around and how mobility is conceptualised and developed at various points and situations in the modern West. There is the voice of an observer without an I guiding the read er except the chapter on Schiphol. Fascinated, intellectual field trip guide, one could say. Sometimes the chapters are a bit thin and the tone is almost more of a textbook than exhaustive analysis. Although this might be one of its advantages: given the ease of language, this book is a very good introduction to thinking with or even in mobility. (I recommend reading it on the move) However, the simplifications involved here also invites further problematic instances in some of the statements perhaps in that the figures of thought used in order to save the clarity retains some of the luggage of sedentarist social theory which is criticised. For instance, I keep wondering if Cresswell wants the reader to make a choice between sedentarist and nomadic metaphysics, as if they were incommensurable. If they are, then there is really no reason to choose either-or! Instead of being used as resources, they could both be relegated the status as topics and other resources should be developed to investigate them in action, so to speak. Where is the sense of what we could call distributed mobility the fixes necessary for the mobile entities? It is not just that the state and our taken-forgranted sedentarism prohibits and regulates movements for the sake of ideological and territorial order. The fixity, or perhaps a greater degree of stability, is necessary if humans or postcards shall be able to move around and
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still be recognised as the same entity it was on starting the journey. (Even if there seems to be a lot less fixity around than we tend to think many more objects are today seen to be as liquid as they need to be.) Aeroplanes have to keep a certain interval of pressure and oxygen once in the air. They have to be shaped into immutable mobiles (Law, 2002). This points to the lack of vocabularies the social science have in order to think about mobility, or, rather, about the contemporary world, without resorting to the sedentary style. What is important, the lesson to learn from On the Move, is that not only the connections (the sediments, so to speak) are of importance, but the things enacting these relations are probably more pertinent to look at today (cf. Moreira, 2004). The human beings are one type of these circulating entities performing the relations of mobility. But here is also a slight drawback. When we take a look around us, its not only humans make up mobility and lead a nomadic existence (e.g. SARS, diamonds, the Mars Rover, waste). Cresswell leaves all these Other objects somewhat relegated to a backdrop. Artefacts such as laws, aeroplanes, cameras, measuring devices, etc. are kept as mere intermediaries and not really fellow travellers who interferes with or make possible human mobility. We are almost back in a container conception of space. This point might seem unfair, because Cresswell opens up to the agency of nonhumans: in a sense, the book leaves you curious about how they were shaped. The chapters are like small introductions, sketches of a social science perspective gearing up to the challenge of accommodating other relations and agencies than the impoverished conception of human face-to-face interaction as the basic premise for collective life. What is the use for urban studies? Obviously, we have been quite good at pinning down the city, fixating its material and informative flows, tie them to locations. In many urban studies, there is still a backbone gesture of analysis set in a sedentarist metaphysics. Without romanticising the nomad, a nomadic metaphysics is perhaps a good entry point for understanding what takes place in, or, rather, what moves cities and urban regions that extra sparkle in your winter. We all know they do not stand still, quite simply.

It is a truism that mobility is central to our experience of the modem world. To be modem is to be mobile. We are living in a world of rapid and frequent transportation and communication that has led to the effective annihilation of space by time. To properly understand this phenomenon we need to consider its history. Dr Cresswells work examines how the idea of human mobility has been central to concepts such as freedom, citizenship and progress in the modem world. At the same time however, many forms of mobility have threatened to undo normative ideas about culture and society and have been labelled as a threat to the very organisations of power and space that made them possible.
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In the two year period of his fellowship he will conduct archival and ethnographic research on, among other things the history of time-motion study in factories, the development of ballroom dancing, the social construction of migrants and refugees into California, the practices and experiences of early women drivers and the construction of mobilities in the international airport. His work will thus range from the scale of the body to the scale of the globe

Non-Technical Summary: On the Move - The Poetics and Politics of Mobility Aims and Overview The central aim of this research was to produce an empirically informed theoretical framework for looking at mobility as a social product which is itself implicated in the enactment of processes of social, cultural and geographical power. In order to accomplish this I conducted five overlapping projects ranging in scale from the micro mobilities of bodies in action to the trans-national mobilities enacted in airport spaces. By looking at mobility across different scales I was able to make connections that add up to a convincing account of the politics of mobility in the modern West. The four projects were: (i) Abstracting embodied mobility. This project examined the worlds of time-motion studies in factories and the choreographic techniques of the Imperial School of Teachers of Dancing in London; (ii)Gendered technologies of mobility. This project examined the gendering of forms of mobility through an examination of historical records of women on the move; (iii) Migration and Identity in America. This project explored that way migration both inside and in to the United States was represented and legislated through an examination of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) and the Peopling of American Theme Study Act (2001); (iv)Mobilities at the Airport. This, more ethnographic, project sought to explore the different kinds of mobility at play in an international airport (Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam) and (v) The Right to Mobility and Citizenship in the United States. In this

project I explored the historical production of mobility as a right in U.S. Supreme Court legal history. In addition I researched the public transport activism of the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles, California in order to show how particular forms of mobile citizenship were contested on the ground. Results The five projects undertaken during the period of the fellowship were conducted in order to present a bigger picture of mobility across scales and to construct a framework for understanding mobility in western modernity. Key points include: (i)Mobility = Social Space + Social Time I make a distinction between mobility and movement where movement is described as the abstract act of getting from A to B (in abstract space and time) while mobility is sees moving as a social act(movement through social space and social time). In each of the chapters a differentiation is noted between abstractions of movement (such as the idea of a right or the disembodied figure of a PAX (passenger) in airport modeling. (ii) Mobility is Ideological. One of my key findings is that, in contrast to most work on mobility at the moment, mobility has been shot through with ideology in the modern world. The book attends to the meanings in the service of power given to human corporeal mobility. While these ideologies do not rest of materiality, they rest, instead on the shared experiential nature of moving bodies mobility as something fundamental to all of us and therefore ripe for story telling. (iii) Meanings translate across scales Looking at mobility at the scale from the scale of the body to the scale of body has the advantage of revealing how the meanings attached to mobility at one scale translate to the others t produce powerful ideological stories. Thomas Hobbes, for instance, translated the discovery of the blood circulation system by Harvey into a story about power and freedom in the early modern state. (iv)Mobility involves understanding representation and practice
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While much that has been written about, particularly bodily, mobility recently has emphasized the role of practice my research has led me to conclude that it is not possible to understand mobility without thinking about both representation and practice. Thinking about mobility involves looking at (real) bodies moving in (real) space and, simultaneously, figures (representational bodies) moving in representational space (places, landscapes). (v) Mobility in modernity is result of constant logic of alterity. While it has long been asserted that mobility is central to Western modernity relatively little has been said about how mobilities are differentiated and given positive or negative meaning. In each project it became clear that mobilities constructed as central to modern life exist in relation to marginal mobilities that are necessary to the constitution of mobility as central. Thus the mobile figure of the citizen, for instance, cannot be understood without the alien. All of the above points form part of a framework (theory is too grand a term perhaps) for understanding mobility in the modern west. Achievements and Outputs The principle output from this research will be a major 120,000 word research monograph titled On the Move: The Politics of Mobility in the Modern West to be published by Routledge (New York). This has been delivered. In addition the following papers are forthcoming. T. Cresswell (2005 in press) Mobilizing the Movement: The Role of Mobility in the Suffrage Politics of Florence Luscomb and Margaret Foley 1911-1915 Gender, Place and Culture T. Cresswell (2005/2006 in press) You Cannot Shake that Shimmie Here: Producing Mobility on the Dancefloor Cultural Geographies T. Cresswell and G. Hoskins (2005 in press) Making Up Chinese Americans. In Maria Margaroni and Effie Yiannopoulou (eds) Metaphoricity and Postmodern Politics (Amsterdam, Rodopi) I am in the early stages of developing an edited collection on Spaces and Practices of Mobility. More generally I have succeeded in developing a network of mobility scholars through presentations at four conferences and twelve invited seminars. Of particular
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note are the six months I spent as a visiting scholar at Hampshire College in Amherst, USA where I formed part of their Global Migrations Programme and gave four seminars on my work. This formed part of a series of talks and workshops from scholars around the world. Most recently I have been asked to serve on the editorial board of a new journal Mobilities which is indicative of both the importance given to this topic and my standing in relation to it.