21 September 2010, Centre for Mobilities Research @ Lancaster University, UK
Small in number but great in influence, the super-rich shape the contours of global capitalism. Occupying the top tier of the so-called human pyramid their activities are scrutinized, emulated, and benchmarked in the production of urban and leisure landscapes; the power-knowledge venues that underpin and demonstrate their success. The super-rich are instrumental in the socialization of desire for unattainable and unsustainable standards of consumption styled as luxury, privilege, prestige, and 'class'. These associations form a brand vocabulary that the global elite aspire to and promote through an embarrassment of riches that manifest in venues like Dubai, perhaps the wildest materialization of an age of excess. The extravagant lifestyles of the super-rich modulate between these nodes of power and free-floating, unhindered mobility.
The workshop will discuss the methodological and conceptual challenges of researching the mobilities of global elites at a time of economic crisis, growing scarcity of resources, and emergent economic and political powers.
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