Notes: Martin Stempfhuber and Michael Liegel, “Intimacy Mobilized: Hook-up Practices in Location-Based Social Network Grindr”

Stempfhuber, Martin & Michael Liegl. (2016). Intimacy mobilized: Hook-up practices in the location-based social network Grindr. Österreichische Zeitschrift Für Soziologie, 41(1), 51-70.

Summary:

Stempfhuber and Liegel examine Grindr practices as a renegotiation of the sociology of intimacies, seeing Grindr practices as remediating, instead of alienating, intimacy: further, they articulate the uses of Grindr as augmented space, wayfinding, place making/writing, and mapping.

Keywords: Grindr, human geography, mapping, mobility, place, sociology, space, technology

Quotations:

“It seems as though the sociology of intimacy is lagging behind technological advances which have long instantiated new regimes of mobility and have instigated a process of renegotiation of what it means to ‘be with’ someone else or be co-present. Taking issue with the humanistic, body-centric, and romanticist notion that intimacy becomes alienated when technologically mediated—something which is still lingering in the sociology of intimacy—we suggest that it is time to ask how the (im)mobilities (Büscher and Urry 2009) of ‘hook-up’ practices are being reconfigured by a ubiquitous use of mobile digital media” (p. 52).

“The very use of the plural in the designation of a sociology of mobilities, on the other hand, points to the mobility of the category of mobility itself; it is also a metaphor for the contested identity of categories that are touched by it. The study of mobilities, then, is concerned both with physical mobility and informational mobility” (p. 53).

“Mobile apps such as Grindr even have the engagement with one’s physical surroundings explicitly at their core. By identifying addressable interlocutors in physical proximity, such apps help to mediate the interaction constraints of urban public space, but in thus populating the vicinity they also serve as a place-making (or place-writing) device. Grindr uses location information as a resource for hooking up, but location, as we will see, can shift from a resource to the topic of the practice” (p. 57)

Notes: David Sibley, “Bounding Space: Purification and Control” in Geographies of Exclusion

Sibley, David. (1995). Bounding space: Purification and control. in Geographies of exclusion. New York: Routledge, 72-89.

Summary:

Sibley examines the way in which constructions of self and other create ‘purified’ spaces that desire conformity and construct deviance.

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Place, Space, Borders

Quotations:

“There seems to me to be a continuing need for ritual practices to maintain the sanctity of space in a secular society. These rituals… are an expression of power relations: they are concerned with domination. Today, however, the guardians of sacred spaces are more likely to be security guards, parents or judges than priests. They are policing the spaces of commerce, public institutions and the home rather than the temple” (72).

“We cannot understand the role of space in the reproduction of social relations without recognizing that the relatively powerless still have enough power to ‘carve out spaces of control’ in respect of their day-to-day lives” (73).

“We can envision the build environment as an integral element in the production of social life, conditioning activities and creating opportunities according to the distribution of power in the socio-spatial system” (73).

“An appreciation of power relations gives meaning to space. Variations in the control and manipulation of different spatial configurations reflect different forms of power relations” (76).

“The anatomy of the purified environment is an expression of the values associated with strong feelings of abjection, a heightened consciousness of difference and, thus, a fear of mixing or the disintegration of boundaries” (78).

“[The panopticon principle] ‘colonizes’ social life and erects boundaries between normal and deviant at all levels, irrespective of legal codes which define criminal behavior. Thus, control, discipline and carceral forms of punishment are diffused through society and social control on the panopticon principle becomes much more than confinement under a particular regime” (83).

“Self and other, and the spaces they create and are alienated from, are defined through projection and introjection. Thus, the built environment assumes symbolic importance, reinforcing a desire for order and conformity if the environment itself is ordered and purified; in this way, space is implicated in the construction of deviancy” (86).

Notes: David Sibley, “Mapping the Pure and the Defiled” in Geographies of Exclusion

Sibley, David. (1995). Mapping the pure and the defiled. in Geographies of exclusion. New York: Routledge, 49-71.

Summary:

Sibley traces how geographies are constructed which mark persons and places as defiled and thus othered.

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Cultural Studies, Space, Place, Class

Quotations:

“In constructing these geographies, the imagery… is drawn on to characterize both people and places, reflecting the desire of those who feel threatened to distance themselves from defiled people and defiled places. Thus, values associated with conformity or authoritarianism are expressed in maps which relegate others to places distant from the locales of the dominant majority” (49).

“[T]here are enduring images of ‘other’ people and ‘other’ places which are combined in the construction of geographies of belonging and exclusion, from the global to the local” (69).

Notes: David Sibley, “Border Crossings” in Geographies of Exclusion

Sibley, David. (1995). Border crossings. in Geographies of exclusion. New York: Routledge, 32-48.

Summary:

Sibley discusses boundary consciousness and how self-and-other is maintained on a social scale.

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Space, Place, Border, Transgression

Sources:

Leach, E. (1976). Culture and communication. Cambridge University Press.

Quotations:

Recreated graphic from page 33:

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“The mixing of categories… by the intersections of sets, creates liminal zones or spaces of ambiguity and discontinuity…” (32-33).

“It is a zone of abjection, one which should be eliminated in order to reduce anxiety, but this is not always possible. Individuals lack the power to organize their world into crisp sets and so eliminate spaces of ambiguity” (33).

“Dichotemies like traditional/modern or simple/complex do not seem to have much relevance to the questions of boundary drawing, inclusions and exclusions” (35).

“Moral panics articulate beliefs about belonging and not belonging, about the sanctity of terror and the fear of transgression. Since panics cannot be sustained for long, however, new ones have to be invented (but they always refer to an old script)” (41).

“Moral panics bring boundaries into focus by accentuating the differences between the agitated guardians of mainstream values and excluded others” (41).

“Inversions can have a role in political protest in the sense that they expose power relations by reversing them and, in the process, raise consciousness of oppression. They energize boundaries by parodying established power relations” (41-42).

“The occasions when inversions assume a centre-periphery form, when the dominant society is relegated to the spatial margins and oppressed minorities command the centre, may represent a challenge to established power relations and, thus, be subject to the attentions of the state” (42).

 

Notes: Allison Mountz, “Refugees—Performing Distinction: Paradoxical Positionings of the Displaced” in Tim Cresswell and Peter Merriman’s Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects

Mountz, Allison. (2011). Refugees—Performing distinction: Paradoxical positionings of the displaced. in Tim Cresswell and Peter Merriman (Eds.) Geographies of mobilities: Pracices, spaces, subjects. Burlington, VT, 255-269.

Summary:

Mountz discusses the ways in which refugee subjectivities are positioned through discursive and material ties to borders, nationalism, and exclusion.

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Culture, Space, Place, Nation, Borders, Refugee

Quotations:

“‘Refugee’ refers to a heterogeneous set of people, yet is a term that others, discursively, materially, and legally” (256).

“For refugees and refugee claimants, subjectivity and mobility are always intertwined and policed through a series of paradoxical positionings. Refugees and those in search of refuge are articulated paradoxically to the state” (256).

“Performances of citizenship as distinction in times of crisis are central to the policing of bodies, an exercise in sovereignty that blurs inside and out, that links discursive and material locations as a way of keeping those constructed as undesirable, poor, and criminal beyond reaching the rights and privileges that accompany membership” (256).

“The meaning of the border shifts spatially and conceptually and is called upon to perform many tasks. One function is to link regulation of mobility to identity and territory: to link who one is to location, and in so doing policing national borders around identities” (256).

“The status of refugee links potential inclusion to previous exclusion, this paradoxical location proving necessary for the membership in the nation-state…. The ‘good’ refugee fits into the definition prescribed by the Convention. The ‘bad’ refugee will not and is instead positioned as attempting to ‘cheat’ the system” (258).

Notes: Tim Edensor, “Commuter: Mobility, Rhythm and Commuting” in Tim Cresswell and Peter Merriman’s Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects

Edensor, Tim. (2011). Commuter: Mobility, rhythm and commuting. in Tim Cresswell and Peter Merriman (Eds.) Geographies of mobilities: Pracices, spaces, subjects. Burlington, VT, 189-203.

Summary:

Edensor articulates the many layers of rhythms that structure commuter-cultures and how these shape our understandings of space and place.

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Commuting, Transport, Place, Space, Non-Place

Sources:

Bonham, J. (2006). Transport: Disciplining the body that travels. The Sociological Review, 54(1), 54-74.

Quotations:

“First of all, rhythmanalysis elucidates how places posses no essence but are ceaselessly (re)constituted out of their connections” (190).

“Places are thus continually (re)produced through the mobile flows which course through and around them, bringing together ephemeral, contingent, and relatively stable arrangements of people, energy, and matter” (190).

“Rhythmanalysis thus emphasizes the dynamic processual qualities of place, circumventing overarching sedentarist spatial reifications in contradistinction to ‘time geographies’ which abstractly spatialize or map time onto place. Spaces are thus always immanent, in process, fecund and decaying” (190).

Notes: David Sibley, “Images of Difference” in Geographies of Exclusion

Sibley, David. (1995). Images of difference. in Geographies of exclusion. New York: Routledge.

Summary:

Keywords: Geography, Human Geography, Visual Culture, Imagery and Imaginary

Quotations:

“Stereotypes play an important part in the configuration of social space because of the distanciation in the behaviour of social groups… and because of the way in which group images and place combine to create landscapes of exclusion” (14).

“Verbal and visual images which have their source in the idea of defilement shade into those which represent the body as less than perfect” (19).

“the social self could also be seen as a place-related self, and this applies also to stereotypes of the other which assume negative or positive qualities according to whether the stereotyped individual or group is ‘in place’ or ‘out of place'” (19).