Draw yourself away from your everyday existence. You may be reading this book in a library, at home or during a ride on public transport. Think about floating away from where you are right now, up and above your location, above your local community, above your country, above seas and landscapes, and imagine that you are able to travel into space. Now imagine that you are a visitor in space, spending time on the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits the globe and that on board is a machine called the ‘Social Viewer’. This machine allows you to observe and compare social worlds as the Space Station does its rotation around the Earth. What might you see from this incredibly distant perspective? How is the world characterised? You will begin to see patterns in time and space. Patterns which shape people’s everyday experiences. Patterns which are located in culture and societies. It might be generational patterns in the use of social media; robotic technologies and changes in industrial processes and workplaces; the impact of climate change on people’s security, health and roots; cities with regular daily rhythms and patterns of shopping and consumption; people engaging with friends, families and communities and the everyday rituals and activities within homes and households.
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Dr. Priscilla Dunk-West
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