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.

Cars and Nations: Anglo-German Perspectives on Automobility between the World Wars

Cars and nations: Anglo-German perspectives on automobility between the world wars

IF ‘THINGS are partly understood as belonging to nations’, as Tim Edensor (2002: 103) writes, then what may be said about the car? National populations have identified with specific car companies and car models, just as they have claimed unique qualities for indigenous ‘motorscapes’ defined by natural scenery, roadways and driving practices. A brief perusal of the vast popular culture of the automobile, from magazines to websites, suggests that cars and nations have created close bonds with one another over the past century. But Edensor argues that sociology has done little to explicate such connections, and indeed that the discipline has generally relegated objects ...

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