Non-places did not exist in the past. They are properly contemporary spaces of anonymous confluence, where people in transit must settle down for some waiting time, whether at the exit of the plane, the train or the subway that is about to arrive. They barely allow a furtive exchange of glances between people who will never meet again.
Non-places turn citizens into mere elements of assemblages that are formed and unformed at random and are symbolic of the current human condition and even more so of the future. The user maintains with these non-places a contractual relationship established by the train or plane ticket and has no other personality in them than the one documented in his identity card. Attentive to the use of words, re-reading the places described by Chateaubriand, Baudelaire and Benjamin, Marc Augé opens new perspectives to conceptualize an anthropology of overmodernity, which could also be an ethnology of the solitude of the contemporary human condition.