Paul McIlvenny (Aalborg University)
Thu 30 Apr 2015, 15:30 - 16:30
Old Library Drummond Street

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Claire MacDonnell (clairema)

In this talk, I will present some of my recent video ethnographies of everyday mobilities in natural settings, which include bicycle commuting, school bicycle training, family biking and cross-country/downhill skiing, and the use of e-bikes and mobility scooters. In all these cases, a mobile video ethnography was conducted to capture the local organisation of the everyday mobility practices from the participants’ perspectives. Multiple ‘micro’ video cameras and audio recorders were placed on bodies, bikes and scooters in different configurations. Using an ethnomethodologically informed approach to talk, mobile action and interactional practices, the video recordings of these diverse mobility practices can be analysed in order to document how people organise and mobilise their bodies, emotions and talk in relation to the activity in question, especially in order to move as (and ‘stretch’) a mobile formation-in-action, such as a mobile ‘with’. First, examples will be shown of how adults and children elicit and share their everyday experiences of cycling together in a variety of circumstances. Assuming that displays of emotion are situated, social activities, the analysis focuses on how embodied displays of emotion are accomplished, maintained, assessed and resisted by co-riders in motion. Second, the focus shifts to the senses and surfaces for movement, particularly the ways in which a child learns to sense and move through a transient snowscape while recreational cross-country and downhill skiing. We can examine how snow – a complex, dynamic materiality that can afford spatial movement on its surface – is sensed, felt and made salient in spatio-interactional practices. Lastly, recent data will be presented which was collected while following electrically assisted mobility practices, using ride-alongs with both experienced and novice e-bike riders, and a walk-along with a mobility scooter rider. The focus is on how participants negotiate the distribution of memberships, rights and obligations, but also how they do so across assemblages of people, non-personal objects,infrastructures, materialities, mobilities and surfaces. The analysis demonstrates the interactional challenge of accomplishing the moral order of novel forms of assisted e-mobility.