Going out, getting about: atmospheres of mobility in Melbourne’s night-time economy
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Drawing from recent affective geographies of drinking and drunkenness, this article explores the affective atmospheres of spaces of mobility in Melbourne’s night-time economy and how these atmospheres shape the experience of alcohol-related problems. Our discussion is grounded in the analysis of interview data collected in 2012 among 60 young adults living in Melbourne. Participants included youth residing in the inner-city who reported taking a tram, walking or cycling to nearby venues along with youth from periurban communities who used trains, buses or taxis to travel to and from venues in the inner-city. Each group reported spending varying amounts of time on the move during a night-out drinking, although the atmospherics of mobility differed for each group. Inner-city participants described ‘comfortable’ or ‘fun’ journeys on the tram, walking or cycling, whereas participants from periurban communities spoke of ‘boring’ or ‘unpleasant’ journeys via train, night-bus or taxi. Moving beyond reports of the ‘priming’ effects of affective atmospheres, we conclude that these atmospheres are(co-)constituted in encounters between bodies, human and non-human, as they move. We close with a brief discussion of the implications of our analysis for the study of alcohol-related problems in the city at night.
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