• Mobility, impairment and empowerment: Subverting normalising discourses

      Ogden, Cassandra A.; Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2013-11-23)
      Deriving our understandings from a Foucauldian perspective, we argue that the mobile subject is not a natural, pre-social being. Rather, power relations structure our ability to choose and the choices we can make. One of the ways in which these paper relations are manifest is through the micro-politics of normalising discourses. Our concern in this study is to disrupt the normalising and naturalising discourses of mobility in order to reveal the impacts these have on the differently able body. First, the paper utilises fictional reverse narratives, combining the methods of Miner’s influential 1956 article “Body ritual among the Nacirema” (American Anthropologist 58: 3), with more recent work on the creation of “ethnographic fictions”. These narratives are designed to invert and subvert conventional assumptions about the processes of travel and the experiential dimension of quotidian mobility. The paper then explores the ways to which they serve to highlight the degree to which ableism underpins and permeates majority conceptualisation of travel processes. Through these narratives, space is made in which to unpack power relations and to consider the hegemony of the ‘normal’ body in mobility studies. Secondly, the paper applies this analysis to some wider issues in the verbal and visual languages associated with sustainable mobility models in current use, to consider the degree to which these are compatible with a socially sustainable and inclusive modelling of future mobility.
    • Silenced voices: Why some people matter and some do not

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2013-10-18)
    • Work, identity, place and population. A changing landscape

      Bennett, Julia; University of Chester (Frontiers in Sociology, 2020-09-08)
      Taking a biographical approach, this paper uses life history narratives across four generations of families living and working in Wigan, Lancashire to analyse social and cultural changes in working life biographies over the past 80 years. Beginning with those who left school at 14, prior to the 1944 Education Act up to the present, where young people are required to remain in education until 18, the paper examines the decisions people have taken throughout their working lives. Inevitably these are shaped by structural changes, particularly to the industrial landscape. The biographical narratives allow a ‘bottom up’ approach to uncovering changes to life courses over three generations in a northern British former industrial town whilst also exploring the wider relations between self, society and place (conceptualised here as ‘taskscape’) in a post-industrial setting. Key changes over the generations are the increased ability of women to pursue careers in addition to having a family, the decrease in parental influence over career choice, and the loss of a ‘job for life’ and employment opportunities for manual workers.