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By Mike Featherstone, Nigel Thrift, John Urry

Mobility — flows, circulation and migration in social existence — has emerged as a principal region of sociological debate, but one in all its such a lot dominant varieties, automobility, has remained principally neglected. Edited via 3 major social analysts, Automobilities offers one of many first and so much wide-ranging examinations of the automobile and its promise of autonomy and mobility. Drawing on wealthy empirical element, from ethnographies of paperwork at the highway to the real of the automobile in French cultural conception, the contributions exhibit simply how major were the industrial, technological, social and political outcomes of a pervasive and accelerating tradition of the car.

A huge array of theories are positioned to paintings to light up this immense and but overlooked subject: process and strategies, complexity thought, performativity, actor community thought, movie thought, fabric tradition, theories of non-places, embodiment, sensuous geography/sociology, ethnomethodology and non-representational theory.

This publication will firmly determine automobilities as a key subject for concept and learn. Automobilities represents a landmark textual content that may give a contribution to and supply an important impetus for the rising research of mobilities in modern societies.

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Additional resources for Automobilities

Sample text

Da i ml("r­ C h rysler, Vol vo, PS A , Shell , BP). A t the samf' t i me there is i ncr("asing unct'r­ tainty of oil suppl i es fol lowing 11 September 200 1 , \\ h i l"h ex posed tile US's dependenc(" u pon M icl d l(" Eastern o i l . Some pred ict large incrf'ases i l l petrol pri ces and a heigh tened uncertainty of suppli es that also cou l d also help to t i p the system ( Motavall i , 2(00). 34 Theory, Culture & Society 21 (4/5) Second, there are various new materials for constructing 'car' bodies.

An advert for the BMW 733i promised the 'integration of man and machi ne . . an almost total oneness with the car' (quoted in Hawkins, 1986: 67). The body of the ear provides an extension of the human body, surround­ ing the fragile, soft and vulnerable human skin with a new steel skin, albeit one that can scratch, crumple and rupture ollce it encounters other cars in a crash (see Brottman, 200 1 , on 'car crash culture) Within the private cocoon of glass and metal intense emotions are rt"leased in forms otherwi,w unacceptable ( see M ichael, 1 988, on road rage).

Once i n the car, there i s almost no k inaesthetic movement from the driver. So although automobility i s a system of mobility, it necessitates minimal movement once one is strapped into the driving sea\. Eyes have to be constantly on the look-out for danger, hands and feet are ready for the next manoeuvre, the body is gripped into a fixed posi tion, lights and noises may indicate that the car-driver needs to make i nstantaneous adjustments, and so Oil. The other traffic constrains how each car is to be driven, its speed, direction, its lane and so on.

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