Mobility - flows, movement and migration in social life - has emerged as a central area of sociological debate, yet one of its most dominant forms, automobility, has remained largely ignored. Edited by three leading social analysts, Automobilities presents one of the first and most wide-ranging examinations of the car and its promise of autonomy and mobility. Drawing on rich empirical detail, from ethnographies of office work on the motorway to the important of the car in French cultural theory, the contributions demonstrate just how significant have been the economic, technological, social and political consequences of a pervasive and accelerating culture of the car.
A broad array of theories are put to work to illuminate this vast and yet neglected topic: strategy and tactics, complexity theory, performativity, actor network theory, film theory, material culture, theories of non-places, embodiment, sensuous geography/sociology, ethnomethodology and non-representational theory.
This book will firmly establish automobilities as a key topic for theory and research. Automobilities represents a landmark text that will contribute to and provide a significant impetus for the emerging analysis of mobilities in contemporary societies.
Nigel Thrift is Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Bristol. He has co-edited and co-authored numerous books; most recently Writing the Rural: Five Cultural Geographies and Globalisation, Institutions and Regional Development in Europe. Thrift has three co-edited or co-authored books in press The City of London and Social Power in Modern Britain; Diffusing Geography: Essays for Peter Hagget; and Mapping the Subject. His main research in recent years has been in advocating and developing a new paradigm for the social sciences, the new mobilities paradigm
Introduction - Mike Featherstone The 'System' of Automobility - John Urry Driving in the City - Nigel Thrift The Driver-Car - Tim Dant Mobility and Safety - Joerg Beckmann Automobility and National Identity - Tim Edensor Representation, Geography and Driving Practice Cars and Nations - Rudy J Koshar Anglo-German Perspectives on Automobility Between the World Wars Driving Places - Peter Merriman Marc Auge, Non-Places and the Geographies of England's M1 Motorway Three Ages of the Automobile - David Gartman The Cultural Logics of the Car Auto Couture - David Inglis Thinking the Car in Post-War France Automotive Emotions - Mimi Sheller Feeling the Car Automobility and the Power of Sound - Michael Bull Doing Officework on the Motorway - Eric Laurier