GaWC Research Bulletin 251.pdf (456.09 kB)
Download file

Air space: towards a social and cultural geography of global air travel

Download (456.09 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2009, 11:53 by Peter Adey, Lucy Budd, Phil Hubbard
Geographic research into commercial aviation has traditionally been undertaken within the field of transport geography. While such studies have shed light on the increasingly complex morphology of global air routes, this paper argues such approaches often downplay crucial questions concerning the social production and consumption of different spaces of air travel. Drawing on ideas from the newlyemergent ‘mobilities' paradigm, this paper identifies some alternative geographies of air travel, arguing that socially- and culturally-inflected perspectives may help reveal the iniquitous imprints of global air travel at a variety of spatial scales. We suggest that there is much to be gained by adopting such perspectives, and argue that work on the social dimensions of air travel is vital in a discipline where air transport is routinely described as an enabler of globalisation, yet is often treated as an abstract, and oddly disembodied, space of flows.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment


ADEY, P., BUDD, L.C.S. and HUBBARD, P., 2007. Air space: towards a social and cultural geography of global air travel. GaWC Research Bulletin, 251


Loughborough University


VoR (Version of Record)

Publication date



This bulletin is also available at: A later version of this Research Bulletin has been published in Progress in Human Geography, 31 (6) 2007, 773-791, under the title 'Flying Lessons: Exploring the Social and Cultural Geographies of Global Air Travel' doi:10.1177/0309132507083508. Please refer to the published version when quoting the paper.



Usage metrics