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Mobility and movement are of concern to academics working across the social sciences, and this article provides a critical evaluation of current geographical research on mobility. Mobilities are fundamental to our daily lives and to the functioning of societies and economies, and the article begins by examining how geographers have approached mobility and fixity during the past half century and why there appears to have been a resurgence of research on mobility in the past decade. Mobilities are entwined with complex power relationships and the article examines how governments and businesses have attempted to encourage and facilitate the movements of people and things, while controlling and regulating mobilities which are deemed to be threatening, out of place, and uncontrolled - such as the mobility of gypsies and illegal immigrants. The article examines how mobilities have frequently been pushed into the background in accounts of landscape and place, before showing how geographers have more recently begun to take account of movement, change, and dynamism in conceptualizing place and landscape. The final section examines how human geographers and social scientists have been paying increasing attention to the social and cultural dimensions of travel and transport, and focuses on recent work on the geographies of the car and driving.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
EditorsRob Kitchin, Nigel Thrift
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
ISBN (Print)9780080449111
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2009


  • Culture
  • Driving
  • Exclusion
  • Fixity
  • Governmentality
  • Landscape
  • Migration
  • Mobility
  • Non-representational theory
  • Place
  • Placelessness
  • Politics
  • Transport


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