[Air-l] road warriors, clarifications

Barry Wellman wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Fri May 24 10:31:45 PDT 2002

Just to clarify some things:

1. I am fascinated by the "road warrior" life. In part, because as some on
the list said yesterday, I've been doing it myself. However, it is not my
fulltime lifestyle. (TG).
I see several distinct areas of interest:
a) the mobile work culture and social organization
b) relations with family and community
c) the transient, lite community of people on the road who are temporarily
in the same locale (hotel lounges, airport lounges).

2. However, I am not going to do this research myself. I have too much on
my plate already. So if you have something to share, please share it with
the list as well as with me.

3. The "road warrior" situation is not new. See "Salesman, Death of" by
Arthur Miller, tales of itinerants, and country songs about truckers.

4. What is new-ish I believe is:
a. gone far beyond salespeople, etc to involve a much larger number of
technical, professional and managerial folks. Who are on the "road"
(actually in the air) 2-4 days/week, almost every week.
b. The use of multiple means of communication to keep strongly tied to
home base: 800 numbers, cellphones, email, web, etc.
c. The growth of higher-end (than truck stops) services to support these
people: if you ever get into a business class lounge, there is usually a
world of support in there: internet connections, printers, meeting rooms,
phones, rebooking of flights, drinks, reading material (and meagre food).


  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  wellman at chass.utoronto.ca   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162

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