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Heisserer, Barbara; Rau, Henrike (2017): Capturing the consumption of distance? A practice-theoretical investigation of everyday travel. In: Journal of Consumer Culture, Vol. 17, No. 3: pp. 579-599


This article contributes to current debates on (un)sustainable mobility by re-conceptualising everyday travel as a set of consumption practices. Treating physical mobility as consumption of distance' with considerable social, ecological and economic consequences, the article's theoretical focus moves beyond conventional approaches that have hitherto dominated transport research and policy in Europe and beyond. In addition, it demonstrates how a carefully operationalised practice-theoretical approach can shed new light on the social and material contingency of human (travel) behaviour. By transforming qualitative evidence from Ireland into an innovative typology of commuting practices, this article captures the importance of intermeshing social and material contexts for people's everyday consumption of distance. Overall, we seek to add to the already significant body of literature that evaluates the suitability of practice-theoretical core concepts to the empirical study of everyday life.