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Keywords of Mobility: Critical Engagements

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Volume 1

Worlds in Motion

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Keywords of Mobility

Critical Engagements

Edited by Noel B. Salazar and Kiran Jayaram

196 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-146-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78533-815-1 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (March 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-147-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This fascinating new volume now unpacks the term through eight keywords: capital, cosmopolitanism, freedom, gender, mobility, infrastructure, motility, and regime. A succinct summary of mobility studies by Noel B. Salazar introduces the volume and its approach: not an all-encompassing list, but a set of keywords that ‘offers a coherent critical perspective on mobility’.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)

“There is an appealing directness and elegant simplicity in ‘Keywords’ efforts to cut through the increasing verbiage within mobility studies and return to the central concepts that make up the field, to grapple with how these concepts are being contested, reworked, and reimagined on a daily basis within anthropological research, while still pushing the field into new waters. In short, this is a book that every mobility studies scholar or student should not only read but return to time and again.” • Anthropos

“The book co-directed by Salazar and Jayaram is a clear introduction to the issue of mobility and its links to several other concepts. Taken in this direction, the chapters open the door to the immeasurable possibilities offered by the mobility paradigm. This paradigm allows us to take a new but significant look at ethnographic situations that affect, in particular, the realities related to immigration. Thus, Keywords of Mobility is a contribution to migration studies that forces the researcher to examine the effects of the encounter between various concepts that transform each other.” • Anthropologie et Sociétés

“Grounded in anthropology and informed by trans-disciplinary mobility studies, the authors rely on ethnographic analyses from a refreshing combination of both American and European perspectives… [The volume] is careful in its selection of topics, and contributors are up-to-date in their scholarship and rigorous in the construction of their analyses… [A]s a methodological and theoretical approach to the topic, Keywords of Mobility is unparalleled. It represents an important contribution to the literature on studies of forced migration, and human mobilities more generally, by working toward a common, robust vocabulary.” • Refuge

“This book is very enlightening, covering areas of thought and research which are at present clearly on a lively frontier of scholarship… The editors are well placed to take on the task of organizing and introducing this topic – as notions of “mobility” have become increasingly prominent in recent anthropology. Noel B. Salazar has an overview of the field which may well be unmatched in anthropology.” • Ulf Hannerz, Stockholm University

“The idea of exploring keywords offers a useful intervention into the field of mobilities research, which is especially useful for teaching. The choice of keywords is excellent, and the framing of each chapter is very good. The contributors are up to date on the current literature and debates of interest to the field.” • Mimi Sheller, Drexel University, USA


Scholars from various disciplines have used key concepts to grasp mobilities, but as of yet, a working vocabulary of these has not been fully developed. Given this context and inspired in part by Raymond Williams’ Keywords (1976), this edited volume presents contributions that critically analyze mobility-related keywords: capital, cosmopolitanism, freedom, gender, immobility, infrastructure, motility, and regime. Each chapter provides an historical context, a critical analysis of how the keyword has been used in relation to mobility, and a conclusion that proposes future usage or research.

Noel B. Salazar is Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is co-editor of Regimes of Mobility (2014) and Tourism Imaginaries (2014), and author of Envisioning Eden (2010) and numerous journal articles and book chapters on the anthropology of mobility and travel. He is vice-president of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, member of the Young Academy of Belgium, and founder of the EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network.

Kiran Jayaram is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at the Faculté d'Ethnologie (Université d'Etat d'Haïti) and an Assistant Professor at York College (CUNY). He has published several articles and a book chapter on migration, education, and political economy, based upon fieldwork among Haitians in urban Dominican Republic.

Subject: Mobility StudiesAnthropology (General)Travel and Tourism


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