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Managing Uncertain Arrival Times through Sociomaterial Associations

Tim Schwanen
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Tim Schwanen: Department of Human Geography and Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.115, The Netherlands

Environment and Planning B, 2008, vol. 35, issue 6, 997-1011

Abstract: Interest in how individuals cope with uncertainty when scheduling their activities and trips has increased in recent years. While providing many useful concepts and insights, previous work tends to treat individuals as atomised decision-making units. This paper argues that it is imperative to think of persons coping with uncertainty about the duration of activities and trips as agents in wider sociomaterial networks or assemblages, at least in studies of how working parents collect their children from school or day care. A framework for understanding this way of coping with uncertainty is proposed, which foregrounds the practical, material, and situational aspects of space–time behaviour. Aspects of the framework are demonstrated through a small-scale study among dual-earner families in the Utrecht region of the Netherlands.

Date: 2008
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