DOWNEY, J., 2014. Flux and the public sphere. Media Culture & Society, 36 (3), pp. 367-379.
John Urry’s call for a paradigm shift in sociology away from a consideration of social interaction at a standstill or stasis and towards a consideration of flux and the infrastructures of movement that enable social interaction to take place has been adopted extensively, if unevenly, in sociology. As Allen-Robertson and Beer point out, work on mobility either focuses on the physical mobility of things and people or on information. Thus, it largely ignores Urry’s initial call for the study of the movement of ideas (and, one could add, images) as well as humans and objects. Here I take up Urry’s original call for the study of mobile ideas and images and argue that such a move is helpful in analysing change in the public sphere.
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