'Mobile Sociology' Commentary on John Urry's Work

Knowles, Caroline. 2010. 'Mobile Sociology' Commentary on John Urry's Work. British Journal of Sociology, 61, pp. 373-379. ISSN 0007-1315 [Article]

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John Urry’s (2010 [2000]) Mobile Sociology remains as relevant as when it was first published. His ‘manifesto for sociology’ reveals the kind of grand plans that only theoreticians of Urry’s standing have the courage to advance. His eloquent argument for a sociology that attends to ‘the diverse mobilities of peoples, objects, images, information, and wastes; and of the complex interde- pendencies between, and social consequences of, such diverse mobilities’ shifted the discipline onto new conceptual ground and framed new agendas for researchers, proposing new questions, theories and methodologies (Sheller and Urry 2006: 211). In Mobile Sociology ‘the social as mobility’ (Urry 2010 [2000]: 348 [186]), with ‘global civil society’ as its social base, replaced the ‘social as society’ (Urry 2010 [2000]: 348 [186]), a scheme developed in con- versation with a broader set of arguments articulated by Mol and Law (1994), in Castells’ (1996) account of networks as dynamic open structures, and the intertwining of human and physical worlds (Urry 2010 [2000]: 356–7 [194]) acknowledging that humans do not act independently from objects. Urry offers ‘complexity’, ‘inhuman, mobile intersecting hybrids’ as the ‘basis of post-social knowledge’ (Urry 2010 [2000]: 357 [195]).

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Sociology > Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)


January 2010Published

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04 May 2016 09:14

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 11:07

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