Instructor: Matteo Colleoni, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tutor: Simone Caiello, email@example.com
The study of mobility has become an object of interest for social sciences, particularly following the invention and diffusion of motorised means of transport from the second half of the nineteenth century. Despite societies always having been mobile, mechanical transport changed the way that the population moved and lived, generating hitherto unknown levels of mobility. The diffusion of mechanical means of transport (trains, buses and cars) gave mobility an ordinary connotation lacking in eras when travel was associated with the extraordinary aspect of migration or the drama of exile. The mechanical means of transport turned mobility into a private daily activity, expanding the range of places that could be reached quickly and enabling working, consuming, purchasing, and social relations in increasingly more distant, diverse contexts from the habitual ones. Recurrent use of transport means, together with that of the new communication technologies, has been interpreted in various ways by social sciences: in some cases they highlighted the positive aspects, with reference to the expansion of exchange, of opportunities for interaction, of accessibility to urban resources and social inclusion; in other cases social sciences provided a critical interpretation focusing on the consequences that the excess of vehicular mobility has on the poor quality of the urban environment, on the loss of spatial proximity in interaction and spatial-temporal references of social formations or on the risks of social alienation of subjects excluded from possession and use of the car.
The Module will deal with the main theories put forward by social sciences on these issues, devoting particular attention to the relations between mobility and urban transformation.