book11About This Book 

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.


Table of Contents 

Introduction, Mike Featherstone

The ‘System’ of Automobility, John Urry

Driving in the City, Nigel Thrift

The Driver-Car, Tim Dant

Mobility and Safety, Jörg Beckmann

Automobility and National Identity: Representation, Geography and Driving Practice, Tim Edensor

Cars and Nations: Anglo-German Perspectives on Automobility Between the World Wars, Rudy J Koshar

Driving Places: Marc Augé, Non-Places and the Geographies of England’s M1 Motorway, Peter Merriman

Three Ages of the Automobile: The Cultural Logics of the Car, David Gartman

Auto Couture: Thinking the Car in Post-War France, David Inglis

Automotive Emotions: Feeling the Car, Mimi Sheller

Automobility and the Power of Sound, Michael Bull

Doing Officework on the Motorway, Eric Laurier


Web Extra

Other articles on the this topic available to read at SAGE Journals online:

Theory Culture and Society

Body and Society

Other Books on the Topic 

Other books on social theory available at: Back to top

Other Books by the Author 

Mike Featherstone (lead author/editor)

Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, 2nd Edition (2007)

Body Modification (2000)

Spaces of Culture (1999)

Love and Eroticism (1999)

Undoing Culture (1996)

Cyberspace/Cyberbodies/Cyberpunk (1996)

Global Modernities (1995)

The Body (1991)

Global Culture (1990)