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AREA TURNS GREEN. Exploration of the Challenges in Counteracting the Commodification of Risk through the Concept of the Virtual as an Experience of Multiplicity in the Sensory-inscribed Body

Conference contribution
Authors Gabriella Sandstig
Published in European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) Conference, Media & The City panel “Media, Bodies & Urban Space” in Lisbon November 12-15, Portugal.
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Subject categories Media and Communications


From a social-theories-of-risk point of view (see Renn, 1992) the notion of perceptions of risk, can be related to actual degrees of control over probabilities and consequences of a risk. But not necessarily, since also perceived means to control the probability and perceived consequences of a risk has shown to be as important for the perceptions and sensations/experiences of threats and risk as well as to limitations of the degree of freedom of movement in urban spaces (Sandstig, 2010; 2013; 2014). In this sensation/experience of fear or insecurity in urban spaces also the visual properties of for instance seeing others becoming a victim of violence has the same effect as becoming a victim of violence oneself (ibid). One way of understanding the importance of perceptions for the freedom of movement in urban cities and the importance of mobile media is through the concept of embodied space (Lefebvre, 1991) where the virtual always implies a counterpart indelibly linked to the actual (coupling of the virtual with the actual) since the virtual already is an integral part of the ways we through our everyday lives have always experiences the actual (Deleuze, 1994). The theory of the sensory-inscribed body by Farman (2012) is used to bridge the (phenomenological notion of the) body as sensory and the (notion within post-structuralism of the) body as a sign system. When it comes to mobile media space the virtual here becomes the experience of layering and the constant interplay that bonds the virtual and the actual together in the virtual being an experience of multiplicity (ibid). To define how space is produced in our mobile era the exploration takes off in the challenges counteracting the commodification of risk (Krahmann, 2008; 2010). In this paper counteracting is rooted in the idea of not just leaving the market forces to expand user-generated mobile interface mapping (as means of representing and practicing space) unsafe places that draws on how we embody and practice space, but also through action research contribute to the development of structures that enables the mapping of also safe places (with a green dot on a Googel Map accompanied with three photographs and a description) as well as building applications for conduction safety walks. It is an exploration of the challenges with action research in the collaborative work (in the aspiration of promoting collective goods) between the University of Gothenburg, Sweden’s largest housing company entirely owned by the municipality and the Foundation Safer Sweden.

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