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Accepted Paper:

Honda Future Neo GT: motorbikes, men and mobility in urban Vietnam   
Marie Braemer (AU Aarhus University)

Paper long abstract:

In Vietnam economic reforms has brought new financially opportunities as well as uncertainties and disparities for many people. With momentum in motorbikes, the predominant mode of personal transport in Vietnam, this paper investigates how urban disadvantaged men imagine their futures and how to get there. Motorbikes are symbols of both monetized and motorized power, machines that embody the promise of autonomy and freedom of movement associated with market economy. I argue that the motorbike in the lives of young men embody a specific link to ┬┤the subjunctive┬┤ and that the motorbike more than anything else is associated with social (upward) mobility and directionality toward a hoped for future. Precisely because of their mobility, flexibility, visibility and even vulnerability, motorbikes are such an instructive agent for understanding both a transformative Vietnamese urban landscape and the people who move within.

Panel W060
Skeletons in the subjunctive: challenges of studying future(s)
  Session 1