This panel explores how mobility produces particular modes of group sociality, particularly through new (and social) media. The panel also sheds light on the ways in which categorisations of mobility and mobile sociality can exacerbate privilege or precarity among (im)mobile groups.
This panel explores how mobility produces distinct experiences of being in and out of place, and particular modes of group sociality, especially through new (and social) media. In so doing, the panel also sheds light on the ways in which categorisations of mobility can exacerbate privilege or precarity among (im)mobile groups. Experiences of sociality, and how it is produced and made sense of, profoundly affect mobile actors and those actors (mobile or immobile) with whom they share social space (Norum 2016). Being mobile may facilitate new modes of belonging, and enable rapidly forged social bonds and new forms of community - but may also create feelings of placelessness, isolation or dysphoria. Increasingly, these processes are enacted and performed online through e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogging. Fundamental to these performances is the categories into which such mobile actors are seen to fall. Indeed, in addition to migrants, expatriates, or tourists, novel categories such as "digital nomads" (Polson 2016), "voluntourists" (Mostafanezhad 2014) or "flashpackers" (Germann Molz 2015) produce and situate mobility and its socialities in distinct ways, always bound up with broader social dynamics and power relations. The panel seeks papers that shed light on novel forms of mobile sociality (Hill and Hartmann forthcoming), formed both offline and online, and that question the very categories which delimit mobile figures (Kunz 2019). In particular, we welcome papers that empirically and theoretically address digital/media practices, and that speak to how sociality is understood, experienced and represented by mobile actors.