Écrit en rapport avec Mode d'emploi 2014, ARTICLE, La fin des sociétés mobiles ?

« Each year there are around 880 million international passenger arrivals. » (John Urry, Jonas Larsen, The Tourist Gaze 3.0). In a globalized world mobility has increased, which causes many problems: environmental issues, economic inequalities and it increases the risk of spreading diseases.


Should we put red lights in the sky? Is the sky the limit?

Is this mobility going to grow in the future? Does it affect everyone? These are the questions we asked ourselves.

After a short poll in our class, we discovered that everyone has already been abroad more than once. Click on the pie-chart we made to illustrate this (51 countries)

We found out that 25 persons out of 27 had travelled to the UK or to Spain. It is a striking result! Of course, in our class, we are curious and lucky to discover the world, eager to learn about other cultures. Mobility for us is a choice and since we were kids, we have been used to travelling around the world.





The other side of the coin is the kind of forced mobility that is also increasing: forced migrations.

Some people say that mobile society, meaning tourism, is about to end, however for others it has never begun. Indeed, in certain countries, crossing the frontiers is harder or even impossible. Furthermore, following the increase in inequalities in the world, more and more migrants risk their lives to have a better future.


Boat people don’t choose the beach they lie on

Nervertheless, even if some people consider that mobility has rather negative aspects, for others it is a way of saving their lives.


However, mobility is not only a human problem, it also impacts the environment.

The use of oil results in the depletion of the ozone layer and it contributes to global warming. Tourism is costly in oil, so we need to find a substitute which would be renewable, sustainable and not derived from petroleum. Besides, those resources are exhaustible and scientists predict that they will disappear within about 50 years.

If mobility was to end like the Titanic, what would our lifeboats be?

17 Réponses à “MobiliTitanic”

  1. S.G.

    When addressing this issue it is important to draw a distinction between
    voluntary and forced mobility. Thank you for having pointed out that job mobility is often not a voluntary decision. Forced job mobility has become a major issue in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain. We are left to wonder about our policy regarding forced mobility.

  2. Eve

    Indeed, you pointed out the fact that for some people, mobility has not even begun but can you really call this mobility ? I would have rather said migration. Indeed, mobility is a choice whereas migration is more an obligation…
    However, it stays a great review ! 🙂

    • N & C

      Hello Eve,
      We appreciate your reaction about our article.
      Mobility represents the link between a starting point and a final point.
      Indeed, you can not say that migration isn’t a form of mobility: it does have a starting point: the native country. And a final point: a hosting country (not so welcoming nowadays…)
      Thus, mobility is travelling as well as migrating, or skyping your Grand’Pa 🙂

  3. Pauline B

    You mentioned the different kinds of mobility such as tourism and migrations. But on the point of migrations, you only talked about the forced ones. What about people choosing to go and live in a other country by their own decision?

    • Charline

      I completely share your point of view, Pauline. Indeed, we didn’t mention this type of mobility. As you may know, we had to make choices and we didn’t choose to talk about it, maybe because it’s very rare and it concerns fewer people than migrations. Anyway,maybe if we have the opportunity to write another article, we’ll talk about it.

      Je partage totalement votre point de vue Pauline. En effet, nous n’avons pas mentionné ce type de mobilité, parce que nous avions à faire des choix. Peut-être nous avons choisi de ne pas en parler parce que ce sont des cas rares et cela ne concerne que très peu de personnes comparé aux nombre des migrants. Si à l’avenir nous avons à écrire un nouvel article, nous en parlerons.

  4. Marie

    You talked about mobility for pleasure (tourism) but what about mobility for work ? This kind of mobility is changing. Indeed more and more conferences are made on the web thus solutions are created to reduce mobility so you can add the web as a solution to reduce mobility and its negative aspects .

  5. Dridri

    In my opinion, I think this article is just too short in order to describe all the aspects of mobility. Moreover, the problem of oil is not just linked to the lack of pertroleum: we have to re-imagine our society and our sources of power!!
    However, this article is quite good and you underline,in a good way,the fact that forced mobility is really present in the world! I find it more convincing than some articles by sociologists!
    WP girls and boys! 🙂

  6. Baptistine

    Moreover, mobility, and this increase of « mobility » (in every meaning of the term) raises many paradoxes : in this « flat world » we are living in, some hurdles still remain.
    Tourists, for instance, are looking for unspoilt places, as John Urry explains in « The Tourist Gaze 3.0 ». But by going in masses to those (more and more) rare places, they destroy them !
    And as Hartmut Rosa explained during the lecture, our society is going faster and faster, thanks to the improvement of mobility especially, but our psyche may not be able to follow the rhythm !
    Are we going to manage to balance the protection of the environment, the resolution of ethnic problems such as forced migrations and our constant desire for more mobility ?

    (For those who consider mobility as a way of saving their lives, it also has negative aspects !)

  7. Audrey

    You say that for some people mobility is about to end. But as you mentioned it, people love travelling around the world, discovering new places, new cultures. So if it is the end of tourism, what would replace it? Pictures on the screen? books? To my mind, nothing can replace being physically in the country, hearing people speaking in a foreign language, being in a complete different atmosphere and way of life.

  8. Cécile

    According to you, tourism is not about to end because people want to discover other things by themselves.
    However, don’t you think that,even if people still want to go abroad, the increasing cost of mobility will restrain tourism?

    • Christelle

      You made a good point saying that Cécile. However, nowadays you can easily travel abroad for not that much. Indeed, low-cost flights, apartment rent ( like the sites airBnB or home holidays) allow us to discover the wealth of our planet whitout being broke.

      Votre point de vue est intéressant. Pourtant, de nos jours on peut facilement voyager à l’étranger pour peu. En effet, les vols low-cost ou les locations d’appartements ( comme sur les sites RBnB ou HomeHolidays) nous permettent de découvrir les richesses de notre planète sans être fauché.

    • CM

      To answer you, Cécile, I think it won’t affect tourism.
      Even if we begin to really feel the lack of oil, I think we won’t change our way of life now. Maybe we’ll find other ways to travel around the world, but tourism is such a proof of development and wealth that people always want to travel.
      Don’t you think that humans never go backwards ?

  9. TOM

    I think this article points out all the main aspects of mobility, giving us an insight of the different kinds of mobility and the issues raised. But I think it’s too short especially after having read the last enlarging question, which really made my mouth water!
    Despite this little drawback it’s a good job!

    • Charlotte Bé

      Thank you Tom. Unfortunately, we couldn’t write more, even if you would like to. We choose to end our article on this keyquestion because we hoped that it will make our readers think about it. And, it seems to work 😉

      Merci Tom. Malheureusement,nous étions limités sur le nombre de mot, mais nous aurions aimé pouvoir écrire plus. Nous avons choisi de finir notre article sur cette problématique car nous espérions que cela fasse réfléchir nos lecteurs. Cela semble avoir fonctionné…

  10. P.R.

    Another point about the end of mobility is the concept of « Acceleration » (by Hartmut Rosa) which is quite the opposite of the word « end ». For the German sociologist and philosopher, the world was set in motion through the past centuries, and it is going faster and faster. He even thinks we can overcome the disappearence of petroleum. It’s just a different point of view, so check him out if you’re interested in Hartmut Rosa.
    However, I really liked the article, the images and its layout so I hope plenty of people will see it !

  11. Anaïs & Marion

    Coming back to the idea of saving petroleum for essential trips, we could wonder what kind of mobility we should adopt in the future. For example, instead of flying from one place to an other, international businessmen could communicate through video conferences. Thus, as Georges Amar said during the Villa Gillet’s conference, in the future we will move via digital technology.
    But John Urry, during the same conference raised an important point: friendship leads to mobility. Thus, is Georges Amar’s idea relevant?
    For us, talking to someone in « real life » is not the same as talking to the same person on a screen. Thus, human beings will never stop moving that is why we will have to find renewable energy.

  12. Lycée Saint Exupéry Terminale Euro

    Good article, but you could have extended your point of view out of just your class. Moreover, in 2012, the level of one billion tourists in a year was reached whereas this article mentions only 880 million tourists each year.

    The third image is really striking and it is a good illustration for the migration aspect of that article even if this part could have been more developed. The contrast between those tourists and the dead migrant shows the contrast in the ability to access mobility.


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