Book review: Phillip Vannini, The Cultures of Alternative Mobilities
he Cultures of Alternative Mobilities is more than just another book featuring the word mobilities in the title. It represents a significant and timely departure from the focus on aero, auto and virtual ‘hypermobility’ concerns that many consider has been the main contribution of this genre to the social sciences. As Vannini makes clear, the collection of essays is a late response to James Clifford’s Routes that heralded the much-welcomed and equally maligned cultural critique of ethnography in the 1980s and 1990s. The Cultures of Alternative Mobilities continues the argument offered in Routes against regionally-fixated cultural critique but with a new twist. The book also – and this is where its charm lies – gives many fascinating examples of alternative mobilities that make a clever counterpoint to MIT-informed rapid, virtual and hi-tech transport futures (so-called hypermobilities) that crowd around the genre.