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BELTON Leslie

Mobility and the social bond.   

Thesis director : Frédéric de Coninck

The question of the social bond has come back into the forefront in sociology, and is being posed today because the disappearance or the disintegration of this bond would, in the long term, threaten society itself. Mobility may play a particularly strong role in this characteristically hypermodern process of the dissolution or liquefaction of bonds. The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate how mobility contributes to a less categorical change : that of a social bond which tends to become other. The bond is stretched, but also multiplied ; it is progressively more elective, but its disappearance still has negative effects on individuals : isolation, depression, suicide, etc. While the purpose of mobility is to create interactions, the movement process that it mobilizes is often considered to be hollow, empty and solitary. Is this necessarily so ? What are the practices of individuals in motion ? Do these practices participate in the creation of a social bond ? If so, what is the nature of this bond ? How does it manifest itself ? If not, what is the foundation of this absence of bond ? Is increased mobility sustainable if the individual is not connected to the surrounding society ? Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in responding to this set of questions.


  • University : UMLV
  • Beginning : oct 2005
  • Defence : sept 2008
  • Financing : MENRT : Alloc couplée ENS