Simon Lafontaine

B.A. Sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal

M.A. Sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Ph.D. Political and Social Sciences, Université libre de Bruxelles

Simon Lafontaine is closely interested in human mobility, social theory, urban sociology, communicative action, and digital literacy. He received his Ph.D. in political and social sciences in 2019 with a sociology thesis revisiting Alfred Schütz's theory of action in the context of studies of mobility and migration in urban space. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at Université de Montréal, where he continues his research. He recently published an article in the journal Human Studies (Springer) presenting his re-reading of Schütz's work (DOI: 10.1007/s10746-020-09563-2). To characterize the structuring of modern societies into networks, one of the most dominant theoretical strategies is to substitute a logic of action with a logic of association that emphasizes the complex intertwining of social actors with material components. In particular, the turning point of mobility in the social sciences proposes to decentralize the importance of human subjectivity in the production and reproduction of social life in order to envisage a “sociology beyond societies.” This book project suggests an alternative path by relating mobilities to the performances of subjectivity, to moving bodies, and to the various objectivations supporting orientation in space and communication with others. Based on interviews with commuters who travel daily to Brussels and on American road novels, they ask the following questions: How do new meanings and unexpected changes emerge in ongoing action beyond anticipated reproduction? How does the road lead to crossing social boundaries, and how can the journey help to gain distance from home and a better appreciation of its self-evident pieces of evidence?

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