Walking in the City: Quotidian Mobility and Ethnographic Method
Edited by Timothy Shortell, Ph.D., and Evrick Brown, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology, Brooklyn College CUNY
Local politicians, protesters, busy commuters, tourists, flâneurs, urban ethnographers. These social actors and many more work the city streets as an essential part of their quotidian routines. Everyday mobility on the streets and public spaces of urban neighborhoods is such an ubiquitous part of urban life and culture that it is often overlooked. Though sociologists have long noted that dynamism is an essential part of the urban way of life, walking as a significant social activity and crucial research method has not received the scholarly attention it deserves. This volume will consider walking in the city from a variety of perspectives, in a variety of places, with a variety of methods. Contributors will address the nature of quotidian mobility in contemporary global cities, how it relates to other significant social institutions and practices, as well as a method for studying urban life.
Among the questions this volume seeks to address:
- What does walking reveal about the spatial distribution of urban cultural activities?
- How does quotidian mobility reinforce and challenge stratification and segregation?
- How does walking as an everyday practice relate to more spectacular forms of walking, such as protest marches, which have lately occupied urban spaces?
- What does walking reveal about normative forms of social interaction in urban public space?
- Are there distinctive social types that occupy public space in contemporary cities through walking? If so, what are they and what is their significance?
- What is the relationship between quotidian mobility and power?
- How is urban walking a gendered or racialized activity?
- How does quotidian mobility relate to global population flows?
- How is quotidian mobility being incorporated in the New Urbanism model of city planners and what does it reveal concerning the politics of space? How is visual design conceptualized in this method to foster pedestrian friendly environments?
- How do individuals in ethnically diverse pedestrian friendly cities negotiate the stranger phenomenon in public space in comparison to those characterized by motorized urban sprawl?
- What is the role of walking in urban research methods?
- What can theorizing about quotidian mobility contribute to contemporary urban theory?
The editors seek chapters of 8,000-10,000 words addressing questions such as these. We welcome contributions from a variety of social science disciplines, theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and focuses on a variety of urban locations.
Send abstracts (200-400 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by April 1, 2012.