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.

Automobility and the Power of Sound

Automobility and the Power of Sound

Automobility and the power of sound

… the car becomes a comfortable platform for the boomin’ on-board sound system. … The car emerges from this as a place of listening, an intrepid, scaled-up substitute for the solipsistic world of the personal stereo, a kind of giant armoured bed on wheels that can shout the driver's dwindling claims upon the world into dead public space at ever-increasing volume.

(Gilroy, 2001: 96–7)

In the monad of the car the bourgeois dream of personal autonomy is partially realized; the more the outer world is excluded, the more this dream seems to be realized.

(Stallabrass, 1996: 127)

THE SOLITARY movement of people moving through the city each day represents a significant yet under-researched aspect of contemporary urban experience. ...

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