Accepted Paper:

'Only migrant workers walk nowadays': the social implications of walking in contemporary China and walking knowledge  

Author:

Shuhua Chen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Paper short abstract:

Based on an ethnographic account of walking as a migrant worker in a neighborhood under fast urbanization and industrialization in China, the paper explores the social implications of walking in the speeding-up of local life-worlds and how the experience in walking becomes a way of knowing.

Paper long abstract:

We walk so we touch, listen, smell, look, breath, move, think, learn, imagine. Through our sensual experience, we may walk to know the world (Ingold 2010) and to think what the world should be (Wolfe 1979). We may also walk in order to know others (Jackson 2007), as it is elaborated by distinguishing how walking embodies an objective phenomenology as well as a subjective phenomenology (Rapport 2008). Based on an ethnographic account of walking as a 'ghuasengian' (a local insulting term that refers to migrant workers from other provinces) in a neighborhood under fast urbanization and industrialization in southern China, this paper explores: first, the social implications of walking in the general speeding-up of life in contemporary China; second, the phenomenology of walking and the concept of 'walking knowledge', in the sense of knowing details through experience within and across space and time at a slow-paced. Thus, in the paper, the theme 'speed' is examined both as an aspect of local life-worlds and also as an aspect of methodology.

Panel P069
Slow travelling: a precious heritage or a sustainable strategy for future mobilities? [ANTHROMOB & IUAES-Tourism]