Can I just say, I love that “exhaustion” is considered a legitimate reason for social disengagement and considered a worthy topic of exploration, however minor, in Kim’s article?
Train rides are by definition transitional spaces. We need only to look at the subway after 5pm to witness people’s tiredness and silence.
I spoke about this is class, and it led to the professor’s point about the subway existing as a social space à la WH Whyte, but the line about “interactional context is one of muted co-presence” is particularly poignant. People’s exhaustion is fueled by how long hours people work; I have this thought that others, like me, enjoy their subway commute home because it is one of the few spaces where they’re expected to disengage respectfully, and the muted interactions with others feels comforting.