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Historical Fundaments of the Mobile Society

Historical Fundaments of the Mobile Society: Path (Inter-) Dependencies in Traffic Information Systems (Funding from DFG)

                Foto Projekt version 2 


PD Dr. Christian Henrich-Franke


Dr. Veit Damm

Förderung durch

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


 seit 2020



The modern Europeans are mobile: They use their mobile phones, drive their cars flexibly across Europe and communicate whenever and wherever it is necessary or possible. Using cars has made European societies mobile since the 1960s, but, at the same time, the mobile Europeans are experiencing their immobility every day when they get stuck in one of the countless traffic jams. To eliminate immobilities on infrastructures for mobility is a major scientific and societal challenge since then. This project aims at discovering unknown operating conditions of the mobile society by focusing on path (inter-) dependencies in the mobile societies' origins. Traffic information systems offer an excellent opportunity to analyze the appearance of the mobile society, because automobility is a way of life which has redefined 'movement' in the history of mankind. They are a symbol of the mobile societies' tensions between mobility and immobility. Nevertheless, traffic information systems such as traffic radio are a topic that must be classified as a desideratum of social sciences, media sciences and historical research. This is remarkable, considering the important role of traffic information systems for the modern mass mobile society.



A set of interrelated questions guides the project: How does the mobile society work? How can we explain mobilities and immobilities on the mobile societies' road networks? How are sociotechnical systems for a mass mobile society planned, designed and implemented? How do different technical, institutional and medial components match each other? Using a novel model of path (inter-) dependencies, which for the first time interrelates technical, institutional and medial paths, will enable us to unterstand the underlying logics of the mobile society.



July 2021: Tagungsbericht - Die Entwicklung von Verkehrsinformationssystemen vom analogen Verkehrsfunk zur digitalen Navigation 


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