Thursday, 20. November 2008

Chap. 3: ‘Go and come!’ The socio-cultural dimensions of travelling

  • Travelling to Accra: modalities, status and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Framing journeys: everyday practices, customs and encounters
  • The importance and significances of travelling
The first chapter on travelling takes into account the social, cultural and economic contexts in which common road travel in southern Ghana is embedded. I begin with depicting the motivations, modalities and financial means which people travelling by public transport (trotros, minibuses) consider before setting off for trips. This involves a look at the changes in travel habits which have occurred in recent years due to growing availability of mobile phones. I then explore how road trips are embedded in various quotidian, but also customary (ritual-like) practices that involve people in complex acts of communication at the outset and the end of their trips. What emerge in the course of trips, through interaction and communication, are a particular sociability and a sense of ‘mobile community’ among passengers. I finally look at the significance and importance of travelling in a society that views the physical appearance/presence of people, in some contexts, as highly meaningful and that regards travelling as linked to status, consumption and modernity.

[Overview Chapter 3]

Experiencing the Accra-Kumasi Road (AKR):

An ethnographic project on roads, commercial driving and everyday travel in Ghana [more]

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Ch1: Accra-Kumasi Road
Ch2: Inhabiting the roadside
Ch3: Road travelling
Ch4: Passenger's body
Ch5: Commercial driving
Ch6: Roadfaring skills
ChX: Religion on the road
newspaper articles
other road projects
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