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.

Driving in the City

Driving in the city

PERHAPS THE most famous and most reproduced piece of writing from Michel de Certeau's many works—anthologized or extracted almost to distraction—is the seventh chapter from he Practice of Everyday Life called ‘Walking in the City’. In this article, I want to use that chapter as a jumping-off point, as a means of indexing and interrogating the nature of some (and only some) of the practices of the modern city. In particular, I want to lay the practice of walking that de Certeau uses as a sign of the human alongside the practice of driving. I want to argue that a hundred years or so after the birth of automobility, the experience of driving is sinking in to our ...

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