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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.

Doing Office Work on the Motorway
Doing office work on the motorway
EricLaurier
Everyday Life on the Motorway

BY COMPARISON with the rivers we have sailed, or the forest paths we have trodden for thousands of years1 the motorway is incipient, yet the curious place that is the multi-lane motorway no longer has quite the novelty value it once did. When it first appeared, like the railway before it, the motorway raised a new set of problems: how drivers ought to drive, what kind of vehicles would be allowed, the many things people could not do on such a road and whether it might be worthwhile at all (Merriman, 2001, 2004). Nowadays we are no longer struck with wonder that it might be possible for hundreds of individual ...

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