For over a century, men have used the activities of making, purchasing, driving, racing, and working on cars to assert and reinforce American perceptions of masculine work, consumption, skill, and technological prowess. At the same time, women and minority males have faced limits and challenges to their access to and authority over automotive technology.

Automobiles debuted in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, a time when the ongoing processes of industrialization, bureaucratization of white-collar work, and feminization of office spaces were undermining older work-based sources of masculinity. The automobile industry played a significant part in accelerating these changes, particularly after Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line in 1913. Autoworkers, like other male industrial workers during the twentieth century, responded by asserting ...

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