Researching Networks and Travel: An Introduction
This chapter describes with a discussion of the five mobilities' that support social networks and generate travel demand in the contemporary world. The five interdependent mobilities are physical travel, physical movement, imaginative travel, virtual travel, and communicative travel. As mobilities are more central to social life, so access to network capital is of greater significance in the structuring of social inequality. Physical movement is objects to producers, consumers and retailers. Imaginative travel is elsewhere through memories, texts, images, TV and films. Virtual travel is in real time on the internet, so transcending geographical and social distance. Communicative travel are through person-to-person messages via letters, postcards, birthday and Christmas cards, telegrams, telephones, faxes, emails, instant messages and video conference. Plaut argues that transport researchers and professionals generally predict major substitution of transportation by communication via the internet or the phone. Network capital comprises six elements that together produce a distinct stratification order that sits alongside social class, social status and party.