Conclusion: departing notes on the slow narrative

Osbaldiston, Nick (2013) Conclusion: departing notes on the slow narrative. In: Osbaldiston, Nick, (ed.) Culture of the Slow: social deceleration in an accelerated world. Consumption and Public Life . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 178-192.

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Abstract

[Extract] At the heart of this volume of work has been a culturally focused understanding of 'slow'. Beyond the political and economic veneer of this phenomenon lies a rich construction of finely tuned cultural codes and narratives which transform everyday life. Parkins and Craig (2006) knew this when they wrote Slow Living. The empirical aspect to their journey into the slow perhaps does not do it enough justice. The reality that this volume seeks to expose is that slowness has penetrated, embedded itself into and altered several of our social and individual practices. This goes beyond slow food, slow cities, slow travel or voluntary simplicity. It manifests itself in transport, consumerism, spatial engagement and even intimacy. The underpinning message is clear: slowing down is temporal, physiological, social and psychological. Engaging in slow sex, as Barratt explores (this volume), requires attention, care and an alternative approach to intimacy differentiated from mainstream sexual acts. Similarly, travelling under the guise of slow travel accentuates the whole experience over quick and rushed tourism akin to the postmodernist Western consumer (Urry 2002, 2011). Personal valuations of expectations in the tourist 'adventure' are redefined away from commercial ventures and group travel schemes. And yet, as Ryle and Soper illustrate above, rejuvenating sensations in travelling, even in the mundane environments of the city, produces a narrative that may well in the long term be a sustainable solution to traffic pollution. Of all the chapters here, cycling is the one empirically related example of slowness that is highly evident not only in numbers on the streets but also in town planning through the contestation and development of bike tracks.

Item ID: 37449
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: slow culture; social theory; consumption
ISBN: 978-0-230-29976-4
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 04:44
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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