REBALANCE aims at describing the narrative and the essences that shape the mobility culture of today.
Issue 3 will help visualize the influence, over time, of communication on the European mobility culture and how the media have conveyed and represented mobility concepts. Cultural changes can be analysed, among other things, through the evolution of the mainstream language used by media and the way values are channelled to citizens: advertisements, movies, press articles, artistic production, video games, social media, etc. Word- and image-search is performed to this end on a significant sample of popular communication, spanning several decades, in order to unveil signals and messages reflecting the evolution of the mainstream mobility culture and to identify dominant representations of explicit or underlying values and their dynamics over time.
Cultural practices both reflect and define group identities, whether the group is a small subculture or a nation. Thus, the cultural field is the place for creativity and meaning making. But it is also a battlefield: who controls the media and popular culture and what messages they communicate are central to how social life is organized and how power operates.
The media are arguably the most important form of cultural production in our society. Digital technologies are creating new ways of participating in the media that are changing the very foundations of cultural production and consumption.
When we wonder about the future, we see that younger generations are slowly shifting away from the overemphasis on speed and comfort optimization for traffic and instead show a growing environmental and health consciousness, intensive use of digital technologies, and a tendency towards sharing instead of owning. Will they initiate the cultural shift that will allow us to achieve a sustainable mobility culture?