Vannini, Phillip

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I earned my M.A. in Communication in 1999 and my Ph.D. in Sociology in 2004 - both from Washington State University. My dissertation was an ethnography of the occupational culture of professors, and focused on the experience of self-authenticity in the context of professorial work. I joined Royal Roads University in 2005 and became Associate Professor in 2008. Within the School of Communication and Culture I teach courses in research methodology and in media and cultural studies. I also deeply enjoy supervising theses in my areas of expertise. Full Bio


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 24
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    Constellations of (in-)convenience: disentangling the assemblages of Canada's west coast island mobilities
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011) Vannini, Phillip
    Drawing from fieldwork conducted to examine the roles played by ferry mobilities in the lives of residents of ferry-dependent islands and coastal communities of British Columbia, Canada, this paper focuses on three elements of spatial mobility assemblages: motives, costs, and frictions. In doing so, this paper contributes to the growing literature on the politics of mobility constellations. Data shed light on the transformative, but contested, power of spatial mobilities. To analyze these dynamics the analysis builds upon Ingold's ideas on wayfaring to highlight how practices, representations, and experiences of ferry mobility exercise their transformative power.
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    The techne of making a ferry: a non-representational approach to passengers’ gathering taskscapes
    (Journal of Transport Geography, 2011) Vannini, Phillip
    Drawing upon ethnographic data collected in British Columbia’s ferry-dependent island and coastal communities, non-representational theory, and mobility studies literature this article examines the process of making, or catching, a ferry. Making a ferry is conceptualized as a form of gathering, and as a phase of the wider performance of travel by ferry boat. Gathering for a ferry sailing before its scheduled departure—data show—is a complex taskscape. Passengers keen on making a ferry employ reflexive, adaptive, orientation skills, weaving artful journeys to the ferry terminal in order to make a specific sailing. Analysis shows how passengers’ work is a creative performance.
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    Performing elusive mobilities: ritualization, play, and the drama of scheduled departures
    (Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2011) Vannini, Phillip
    Drawing upon three years of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in ferry-dependent islands and remote coastal communities of British Columbia, this paper examines the process of catching a ferry in time for a scheduled sailing. Through performance, interactionist, and non-representational theory I argue that the weaving of a journey toward the ferry terminal can be a suspenseful drama, within which a scheduled departure works as a potential to be actualized through the performance of skillful acts of mobility. The affective, ritualistic, and playful components of passengers' journeys are examined through the lens of performance. Timing, spacing, and acting occasion differential ecologies of affect.
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    Constellations of ferry (im)mobility: islandness as the performance and politics of insulation and isolation
    (Cultural Geographies, 2011-04) Vannini, Phillip
    Drawing from three years of fieldwork — including over 250 journeys and about 400 interviews — conducted in ferry-dependent coastal and insular communities of British Columbia, this paper extends the concept of constellation of mobility and provides empirical evidence to argue for its relevance. Coined by Cresswell, the concept of constellations of mobility refers to historically and geographically specific formations of movement inclusive of relational experiences, practices, and politics. By focusing on two of the constitutive parts indicated by Cresswell (experience and route) and a third one originally developed here (remove) ethnographic data description and analysis show how ferry (im)mobility in ferry-dependent communities contributes to spatializing dynamics of insulation and isolation. Positive affective aspects of these spatializations, such as uniqueness and distinction, place-attachment, sense of place, place-identity, safety, connection, and remoteness, as well as negative aspects, such as marginalization, divisiveness, disconnection, fear, and confinement are outlined.
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    The geography of disciplinary amnesia: Eleven scholars reflect on the international state of symbolic interactionism
    (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2008) Vannini, Phillip
    Both the history and the historiography of SI show that multiple “different definitions and boundaries” have been applied to the subject of study (Atkinson & Housley, 2003, p. vii). Yet, despite the commonly agreed-upon understanding of SI's heterogeneity, in practice the institutional and disciplinary core of SI unmistakeably resides in its American heartland. For instance, Reynolds and Herman-Kinney (2003a, 2003b, p. ix) preface their fine Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism by aiming at making it “a fine addition to the sociological literature” (my emphasis). Maines (2001, 2003) himself – the most visible critic of the dissolution of SI – focuses on the growing invisibility of interactionism across American sociological theory and research while Fine (1993) and Sandstrom and Fine (2003, p. 1041) find that the “glorious triumph” of SI is due to its successes in “social psychology, medical sociology, deviance, social problems, collective behavior, cultural studies, media studies, the sociology of emotions, the sociology of art, environmental sociology, race relations, social organization, social movements, and political sociology” – hardly an interdisciplinary outlook.