Time-space trajectories of materials in the digital society

Authors: Kajsa Ellegård*, Linköping University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: time-geography, e-shopping, material products
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Rhetorically, the digital society provides opportunities for an everyday life where the individual is free from daily chores that traditionally take a lot of time and efforts to perform. For example, digital shopping gains increasing interest and digital solutions for ordering, invoicing and paying are developed and launched. The customer can shop from home via the internet whenever it is convenient, and get products delivered.
Hägerstrand wrote in his posthumously published book “The material world within human reach is altered not by words but by the grasp of the hand. The word-makers are in power, but for their decisions to turn into something more than vibrations in the air, one, some or all people must engage with material things.” (Hägerstrand 2009: 27, my translation)
This note is crucial when analyzing the rhetoric figure of the promises of the digital society, since it underlines that there are inevitable flows of material products and physical arrangements as consequence of, for example, digital shopping.
Solely pure digital products can reach the customer via the internet. Material products, however, have a physical appearance in the real world that claim for transportation to pick up locations. What kinds of material flows arise in the time-space from digital shopping? What transportation arrangements are developed to allow products to follow delivery trajectories? Who are engaged in moving the products? In this presentation, the material side of the idea of digital shopping is discussed from a time-geographic perspective.

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