Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RS15_06a_H: Urban Transformation
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Christine Louveau, Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne
Location: HA.2.6
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 2.

Session Abstract

Urbanization and population mobility have been spreading all over Europe for decades. In each country it directly impacts social structures and life rhythm. Visual and filmic sociology allows us to analyse these changes in everyday life.

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Visualizing the urban life of transnational families

Anca Raluca Astilean, Calin Ilea

Center for the Study of the Population

Using the video composite method, in this paper we shall comparatively present some

key elements of the life of transnational families having at least one Romanian member. We shall use photo/video materials from our multi-site research from several urban areas, from Romania (Drobeta Turnu Severin, Cluj-Napoca) and from abroad (Londra, UK; Mons,

Belgium; Chișinău, the Republic of Moldova).

We shall try to compare the following focal topics (in two or more towns): children of transnational families; bi-national/mixed couples; discrimination of transnational family

members. Through these visual materials, we hope to provide a face to transnational families living in urban areas, in Romania and abroad.

Another aspect of the presentation will be a comparative analysis of two photo albums, one focusing on photographs taken in the rural milieu (already released by team members, where we primarily find pictures of elderly remaining at home) and another one, in the urban milieu, created specifically for this scholarly session.

The photo albums (together with the videos) are the visual documentation of our research, and will illustrate the main topics of our research as a whole.

Everyday Mobility & Practical Cosmopolitanism: A Spatial Semiotic Approach

Timothy Shortell, Jerome Krase

Brooklyn College, City University of New York, United States of America

A majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and the proportion is growing rapidly. As a result, cities are places of strangers. Urban dwellers are socialized in the norms of interaction with others whom they do not know, including those whose cultural practices are seen as “strange.” Urban neighborhoods are sometimes sites of social conflict. But perhaps more remarkably, everyday urban life in vernacular neighborhoods is marked mainly by “cultural strangers” getting along. In the everyday rhythms of urban life, particularly in public places such as public transit, people know that they must get along to go along. Quotidian mobilities are the dominant rhythms of vernacular urban neighborhoods. The pace of the city is strongly tied to forms of urban living, and as a result, of the impressions urban dwellers form of themselves, of others, and of urban space. This makes mobility an important part of urban life and culture. It is, in a fundamental way, the dynamic quality of place. As such, it is important for urban researchers to investigate ordinary mobilities in urban public places. We believe this is best accomplished by visual methods and visual data, including photographs, video, and observation. We bring examples from our research on urban neighborhoods in some of the global cities of Europe to illustrate a method for seeing contested identities and practical cosmopolitanism in the rhythms of everyday mobilities—not only is everyday mobility a significant form of social activity, but it is also a key research method in the study of urban communities.

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