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 National Identity: Representation, Geography and Driving Practice

Automobility and national identity: Representation, geography and driving practice

I AM interested in exploring the ways in which national identities are constituted through popular culture and experienced in everyday life (Edensor, 2002). In contradistinction to conventional accounts of national identity (for instance, Anderson, 1983; Gellner, 1983; Smith, 1991, 1998; Hutchinson, 2001) which focus on how cultural elites authoritatively inculcate a top-down sense of nationhood, following Billig (1995) I believe it is more appropriate to consider the contemporary formation of national identity as largely generated in mundane settings. Rather than through high cultures, reified folk cultures and spectacular, formal, invented ceremonies, national identity is primarily constituted out of the proliferating signifiers of the nation and the everyday habits ...

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