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Entangling Bodies and Objects in the Air

Title data

Schindler, Larissa:
Entangling Bodies and Objects in the Air.
In: Eisenmann, Clemens ; Englert, Kathrin ; Schubert, Cornelius ; Voss, Ehler (ed.): Varieties of Cooperation : Mutually Making the Conditions of Mutual Making. - Wiesbaden : Springer , 2023 . - pp. 167-185 . - (Medien der Kooperation – Media of Cooperation )
ISBN 978-3-658-39036-5

Abstract in another language

In the context of recent discussions on co-operation within media studies, this contribution focuses on material co-operations, i.e. on the entanglement of bodies and objects as participants in situated concerted actions within the ongoing accomplishment of social practices. More specifically, I am concerned with the empirical case of air travel, addressing material co-operation with regard to boarding, accommodating to the plane, and finally detaching oneself from the entanglement when leaving the plane. Viewed from this perspective, sociality on board turns out to be a complex social process that depends on different participants like the crew, passengers, their bodies, objects, and material infrastructure. Not only flying, but also boarding and disembarking are clearly shaped by the materiality of the vehicle. While accomplishing an utterly material co-operation of bodies and infrastructure on board, passengers contribute to a culture of “civil inattention”, only occasionally interrupted by polite conversation. Even conflict is more often covertly than overtly acted out. However, the same infrastructure that contributes to the mostly friendly and peaceful atmosphere on board can also turn into a medium of conflict: overhead compartments, seats, arm rests, food, drinks, the bodies of other passengers and their smells or noises, all this can be perceived as part of an exciting experience, as hardly relevant to one’s own situation, or as annoying. Co-operation proves to be a fruitful concept to understand not only how material dimensions of the social are interwoven with the interactions of persons, bodies, objects, and infrastructure; the concept furthermore delineates how thick such material entanglements can be and to what extent all participants have to make a concerted effort to put them into effect.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: No
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Methods in empirical social research > Chair Methods in empirical social research - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Larissa Schindler
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 07:12
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 07:12