History of the Concept of Mobility
Tuesday 20 April 2021
Defining mobility is especially important because the term is highly polysemous. When geographers use the term mobility, they do so to evoke the act of moving across a space. As such, they aren’t speaking about the same thing as traffic engineers or sociologists, who both use this notion to refer, respectively, to transportation flows and to self-transformation. This diversity of meanings, far from adding richness to the concept, is an obstacle to understanding. Clearly, when mobility is mentioned, we do not know exactly what is being referred to: it all depends on one’s disciplinary background. This is the result of how the concept of mobility originated and evolved, which is what will be discussed here. Over the past two decades, a number of authors have proposed inclusive definitions of mobility to help overcome the constraints of disciplinary segmentation.
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