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"I would much rather be still here and travel in time": the intertwinedness of mobility and stillness in cottage living
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2013 (English)In: Fennia, ISSN 0015-0010, E-ISSN 1798-5617, Vol. 191, no 2, 92-105 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Along with urbanisation and modernisation, the use of second homes has increased in the Western world. This can be seen as part of the increasing mobility of people in society, but also as part of a search for stillness and escape from modern urban society. Recently, scholars in geography and other disciplines have argued that mobility and fixity are two sides of the same coin. This paper aims to explore the complex, manifold and often paradoxical relationship between mobility and immobility in practices of dwelling and seeking stillness in a highly mobile society. It elaborates on how mobility and stillness, in both space and time, are intertwined and mutually influence each other by analysing second home usage of old cottages that formally were dwelling houses of poor tenant smallholdings in Sweden. How do mobility and stillness exist and interact at these cottages and what parts do the cottages themselves have in this? This is studied through interviews with cottage users on their daily life practices and encounters with history and materiality at the cottages. These cottages are easily thought of as places of immobility where time has stood still. However, the paper shows that these cottages are places that continuously emerge through entanglements of mobility and stillness and of present and past times. The practices and experiences of mobility and stillness at the cottage are much integrated in and directed by the cottages’ specific geography, history and materiality, and the activities and thinking of their users because of these characteristics. The users go to the cottage to be at a place where they, with the help of the preserved materiality and history of the cottages, can feel rooted and still. At the same time the cottages offer imaginary time travels and experiences of other times and lifestyles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 191, no 2, 92-105 p.
Keyword [en]
Sweden, Mobility, Stillness, Interviews, Second homes, Materiality, Time-travelling
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97832OAI: diva2:680530
Available from: 2013-12-18 Created: 2013-12-18 Last updated: 2015-06-08Bibliographically approved

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