How Mobility Systems Produce Inequality: Making Mobile Subject Types on the Bangkok Sky Train
Abstract:This paper explores a crucial aspect of sustainable mobility: the production of social inequality in mobility systems. The approach taken is to focus on how, as new transit infrastructures create alternative ways of travelling into and accessing the city, they create changed conditions for the formation of subject identities. New types of travellers are realized in the newly engineered spaces of mobility. The paper argues that this focus on emergent mobile subject types can be useful in investigating the social inequalities that can result from the introduction of new infrastructures. This approach is illustrated in a case study of one urban transit system: the BTS Sky Train, Bangkok, Thailand. The analysis reveals the subtle hegemony of an elite mobility system that slowly becomes not only the norm but increasingly the desired mode of mobility, emphasizing how mobile elites are constructed and how social inequality is materially produced.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 29, 2008
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