Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Negotiating Difference on Public Transport: How Practices and Experiences of Deviance Shape Public Space

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 1034 | Downloads: 506

Abstract:  Given the diversity of passengers, public transport has hitherto been described as a public space of encounters, conviviality, or conflict. However, other dimensions of publicness, such as codes of conduct, deviance, visibility, or resistance, have received less attention. Based on qualitative interviews with transport users whose physical or financial abilities, or mobility needs differ from default passengers, this article outlines daily experiences and practices of negotiating differences through situational and societal deviance. In particular, I examine the daily struggles of passengers travelling in Brussels during the Covid-19 pandemic or without a valid ticket, along with people who rely on public transport in Tallinn due to care responsibilities. By describing quotidian practices and experiences of deviance, I argue that understanding publicness as a process of ongoing negotiation and appropriation promotes more equitable and inclusive planning practices.

Keywords:  care mobilities; Covid-19 pandemic; deviance; fare evasion; public space; public transport



Online discussion: Watch the conversation about this article on Let's Talk About

© Louise Sträuli. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.