Accepted Paper:

Towards a phenomenology of flying  

Author:

Holly Cole (University of Melbourne)

Paper short abstract:

An ethnography of international aircrew, this paper considers embodiment as locus for understanding contemporary experiences of, and anthropology's own ambivalent relationship with movement and fixity.

Paper long abstract:

Illumination of the isomorphism of place, identity and culture in traditional anthropology has spawned a myriad of theoretical perspectives and methodological practices - from network theory to multi-sited ethnography - that represent a world in/of movement. These, in turn, threaten to recast the discipline as a nomadology. Ethnographically, this paper focuses on the experiences of international aircrew, a profession characterized by heightened ambivalence, spatially between extreme geographic mobility and physical incarceration, and inter-personally in intense fleeting attachments. Working from Foucauldian thought and Csordasian phenomenology, the paper calls for the study of the body and embodiment as a site and perspective respectively for understanding the ambivalence of this particular experience and anthropology's own ambivalent relationship with movement and fixity.

Panel IW01
Mobility: frictions and flows