Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Going First Class?

Going First Class?: New Approaches to Privileged Travel and Movement

Edited by Vered Amit
Series: EASA Series
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 172
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Going First Class?
    Book Description:

    People travel as never before. However, anthropological research has tended to focus primarily on either labor migration or on tourism. In contrast, this collection of essays explores a diversity of circumstances and impetuses towards contemporary mobility. It ranges from expatriates to peripatetic professionals to middle class migrants in search of extended educational and career opportunities to people seeking self development through travel, either by moving after retirement or visiting educational retreats. These situations, however, converge in the significant resources, variously of finances, time, credentials or skills, which these voyagers are able to call on in embarking on their respective journeys. Accordingly, this volume seeks to tease out the scope and implications of the relatively privileged circumstances under which these voyages are being undertaken.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-316-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. 1 Structures and Dispositions of Travel and Movement
    (pp. 1-14)
    Vered Amit

    By design, the title of this collection of essays;Going First Class? New Approaches to Privileged Travel and Movementprompts the question of the type and scope of the “privileges” that should generally be addressed in comparative studies of spatial mobility and, in particular, by the present case studies. To note in response that privilege is relative is to invoke at one and the same time a tired truism and an open-ended set of analytical complications. Thus one of the central emphases in much of the anthropological literature on “elites” has concerned the importance of relating the issue of relative...

  4. 2 Middle-Class Japanese Housewives and the Experience of Transnational Mobility
    (pp. 15-32)
    Sawa Kurotani

    The otherwise abstract notion ofgurobaruka, or “globalization,” often becomes concrete reality to middle-class Japanese families in the form of a job assignment in the United States and other foreign locations. Almost all Japanese workers and managers who are sent out on these foreign assignments are men; therefore, when middle-class Japanese women talk about a possibility of temporary migration to a foreign country “on a job assignment,” they are usually referring to their husbands.¹ But they also know that, as wives and mothers, they are expected to play a major role during this corporate-driven migration: to create and maintain “Japanese”...

  5. 3 Living in a Bubble: Expatriates’ Transnational Spaces
    (pp. 33-52)
    Meike Fechter

    The introductory quote brings to mind the experiences of a group often overlooked in migration discourses: those of privileged mobile professionals such as diplomats or corporate expatriates. It evokes the peculiar spaces that they create and inhabit during their time abroad, which are expressed in metaphors like the “cocoon” or “bubble.” In this chapter, I want to explore these spaces and the associated senses of boundedness that often pervade their lives, and consider its implications for notions of transnational spaces more generally.

    As the majority of migration studies have concentrated on non-privileged migrants, discussions of affluent movers from Western societies...

  6. 4 Globalization through “Weak Ties”: A Study of Transnational Networks among Mobile Professionals
    (pp. 53-71)
    Vered Amit

    For a discipline such as anthropology that has traditionally anchored its investigations in the observation of day-to-day interactions among small groups, contemporary efforts to examine globalizing processes can pose special problems of definition and scale. But as Alan Smart has noted in a recent article, these are problems that had first been encountered in the early struggles of urban anthropologists to position themselves as ethnographers in large, dense metropolitan settlements (1999: 60). Smart locates these struggles within a primarily methodological challenge of balancing holism and participant observation within these complex urban contexts, a difficulty even more exacerbated when anthropologists had...

  7. 5 Traveling Images, Lives on Location: Cinematographers in the Film Industry
    (pp. 72-86)
    Cathy Greenhalgh

    In this chapter I examine the logistical challenges, identifications, and professional expectations that characterize the lives of highly mobile feature-film cinematographers¹. The cinematographer, or director of photography, is a key collaborator with the director, (along with the producer, production designer, editor, and sound designer). He or she “choreographs” the crew in the organization of bodies and technology on location or set, framing, lighting, and moving the camera within the director’s “vision” of the film.

    In focusing on feature-film cinematographers, I am concerned with that segment of the larger film industry that claims for itself the “highest” expression of the art...

  8. 6 Privileged Travelers? Migration Narratives in Families of Middle-Class Caribbean Background
    (pp. 87-102)
    Karen Fog Olwig

    Migration studies have been criticized in recent years for focusing too narrowly on lower-class population movements in search of economic opportunities. This has led to questioning of the relevance of the conceptual framework and theoretical analysis, developed within this scholarship, for research on the movements of more privileged migrants. This chapter argues that class does not refer solely to a group of people who share a certain social and economic position in society. It is also a cultural category that concerns social as well as economic aspects of the livelihoods deemed proper within the middle layers of a society. Through...

  9. 7 How Privileged Are They? Middle-Class Brazilian Immigrants in Lisbon
    (pp. 103-125)
    Angela Torresan

    During the last two decades of the twentieth century there was an unprecedented shift in the profile of international migration from Brazil. The early influx of migrants from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which intensified toward the end of the nineteenth and into the first part of the twentieth century, had reversed in accordance with a worldwide change in the general postcolonial pattern of population movement. At first, in the 1970s, there was the uncelebrated but voluminous crossing of about half a million Brazilian agricultural workers back and forth across the borders of neighboring countries (Sprandel 1992). By the...

  10. 8 Imagined Communitas: Older Migrants and Aspirational Mobility
    (pp. 126-143)
    Caroline Oliver

    My husband didn’t die out here, it was the one thing he wanted just to get back home. Anyhow when he went back … he said to the doctor at the beginning of September “when can I go back to Spain?” They said sorry I don’t think you can go back. At the crematorium we didn’t have hymns, I had “Viva España.” It played all the way through, “take me back to sunny Spain.” He wasn’t a religious person to the extent that he would have wanted to sing “Jerusalem” and all those things that make you cry. So, when...

  11. 9 Privileged Time: Volunteers’ Experiences At a Spiritual Educational Retreat Center in Hawai’i
    (pp. 144-158)
    Margaret C. Rodman

    Kalani Oceanside Retreat is “an educational nonprofit organization that celebrates Hawaii, nature, culture and wellness.”¹ Located in a rural area on the big island of Hawaii, it is about an hour’s drive from the town of Hilo. Molten lava flows into the sea at the end of the road to Kalani, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a half-day adventure away.Kalani Honuameans “harmony of heaven and earth” in Hawaiian. This is a powerful place of bare rocks, starry nights, and big surf on black-sand beaches. A tropical sensorium softens the hard edges: scarlet hibiscus, fragrant plumeria, misty rains,...

  12. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 159-160)
  13. Index
    (pp. 161-164)