Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation
- Collaborative mobility concepts
- Mobility justice
- Critical mobilities research
Vehicles of resistance? – Non-commercial carsharing and the socio-ecological mobility transition
Mobility is a core element of capitalist societies in which mobilities of humans, goods, data and ideas are keeping the process of capitalist expansion and accumulation afloat. However, the constant growth of mobilities, driven by a logic of faster, further and more, increasingly impairs the natural and social environment through a lack of livable space, air pollution, long-distance commuting and the escalating climate and ecological crisis. Therefore, a transition towards more social and ecological practices of mobility is urgently necessary.
My dissertation is about a part of this transition in relation to the mobility of people and investigates how practices of non-commercial carsharing are influencing local everyday mobility. I argue that practices of non-commercial carsharing are reconstituting hegemonic practices of automobility through a process of everyday resistance and thereby challenge capitalist mobilities in the realm of everyday life. Non-commercial carsharing reconstitutes practices of automobility along four aspects: 1) Redefine the meaning of the car and automobility 2) Reembed automobility into its environmental context, 3) Foster sociality, and 4) Change ownership relations.
First, for non-commercial carsharers the car becomes an object of utility and looses its role as status symbol. This changing role of the car brings the coercive aspects of automobility to the fore, which are widely recognized by non-commercial carsharers. Thereby, automobility isn’t the sole means of liberation anymore, but rather ridden with ambivalence, fostering a reduction of its use.
Second, non-commercial carsharing is often practiced with an awareness of the environmental damages of automobility. Based on this awareness manifold critiques of automobility, mainstream sharing and consumerism become articulated. Thereby, automobility is re-embedded into its societal and environmental context and non-commercial carsharing emerges as counter-hegemonic practice.
Third, non-commercial carsharing fosters sociality and community. While automobility is mainly aligned with individual movement and atomization, non-commercial carsharing is characterized by collective care, responsibility and voluntary engagement. While this works against individualizing tendencies of capitalism it also enables the collective alteration of the reproduction of social structures through collective agency.
Fourth and last, new ownership relations emerge from non-commercial carsharing. Through a process of commoning mobility individual car ownership is replaced by actual and perceived shared car ownership and collective management and care.
Overall these four aspects result in reducing car usage, and move mobility away from the hegemony of automobility and private car ownership. Through collectively altering the reproduction of hegemonic practices of automobility in a process of everyday resistance, non-commercial carsharing is challenging capitalist mobilities in the realm of everyday life. Thereby, non-commercial carsharing shows a potential pathway for a socio-ecological just and post-capitalist mobility transition.
|Since 2016||PhD candidate in the mobil.LAB doctoral research group funded by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation|
|2016||Traineeship at Prognos AG in Berlin|
|2013-2015||Joint European Master in Environmental Studies – Cities and Sustainability (Jemes-CiSu) at Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Aveiro and University of Aalborg|
|2012-2013||Scientific Assistant at the Wuppertal Institute|
|2009-2012||Bachelor of Environmental Sciences at University of Bielefeld|
Nitschke, L. (under review) Reconstituting automobility: The influence of non-commercial carsharing on the meanings of automobility and the car. Sustainability.
Zuev, D. and L. Nitschke. (forthcoming) Mobilities and (Un)sustainability in Monika Büscher, Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Sven Kesselring and Nikolaj Grauslund Kristensen (Eds.) Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. (2019) What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197.
Nitschke, L. (2018) Sharing mobilities beyond capitalism? – An exploration into non- commercial sharing practices commercial sharing practices. Transportation Research Procedia, 41, 537–539. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Munich, DE.
Kang, J. and L. Nitschke. (2015) Creating Infographics for the Comparison of Bike Share Programs. Parsons Journal for Information Mapping, VII (2). New York City, New York, USA.
Nitschke, L. (2015) Public bike sharing in Munich: A critical view on bike sharing and redistribution of urban space.Masters Thesis. Erasmus Mundus Master Program, Joint European Master in Environmental Studies – Cities and Sustainability (JEMES CiSu). Aalborg Universitet (DK) and Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen (DE).