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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/socsci5010014

American Long-Distance Locomobility and the Spaces of Actor-Network Theory

Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 605 East Springfield Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Academic Editor: Frank Witlox
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [257 KB, uploaded 22 March 2016]

Abstract

Much of the discourse surrounding national intercity passenger rail service in the United States revolves around why it has lagged so far behind European and Asian counterparts. However, a more interesting question might be why it has survived despite competition from faster, more nimble transport modes, discriminatory public policy, and the ascension of neoliberal discourse hostile to public endeavor. This paper uses the concept of durability in actor-network theory to offer some insights into how the system has achieved a remarkable but problematic stability, and how that durability relates to an imagined role for national intercity passenger rail in a future of increasingly constrained material resources. This paper also demonstrates the application of actor-network theory (ANT) in a way that can serve as a useful introduction to and template for the use of that methodology. View Full-Text
Keywords: actor-network theory; Amtrak; locomobility; passenger railroads; durability actor-network theory; Amtrak; locomobility; passenger railroads; durability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Minn, M. American Long-Distance Locomobility and the Spaces of Actor-Network Theory. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 14.

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