Practical aeromobilities: making sense of environmentalist air-travel

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Abstract

Flying has become an increasingly contested form of consumption, but ‘green’ consumers often continue to fly. This paper provides novel insights into the stubbornness of air-travel by specifically studying the obstacles that environmentally conscious consumers face when trying to limit or eliminate aeromobility. Through in-depth interviews with Norwegian environmental organization workers–conceptualised as particularly self-reflexive when it comes to environmentally contested forms of consumption–we analyse how environmentalists negotiate one of the most environmentally destructive aspects of their consumption patterns. To explore how the social embeddedness of flying complicates the reduction of air-travel in these accounts, we draw on a combination of mobilities and social practice approaches. The participants considered flying to be problematic, but also often necessary in specific practices. Various expectations related to convenience, time, and sociality, led to a certain ‘lock-in’ of (aero)mobility. Zooming out to consider broader practice geographies, we argue that aeromobility contributes to the tempo-spatial expansion of many practices, changing their contents, meanings, and the contexts in which they unfold. To achieve sustainable mobility, we suggest that attention must be shifted from the air-travels of individual consumers to the broader practices in which aeromobility is embedded.

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APA

Volden, J., & Hansen, A. (2022). Practical aeromobilities: making sense of environmentalist air-travel. Mobilities, 17(3), 349–365. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2021.1985381

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