Car Troubles

Critical Studies of Automobility and Auto-Mobility

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  • Edited by Jim Conley, Trent University, Canada and Arlene Tigar McLaren, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Series: Transport and Society
  • Car Troubles central premise is that the car as the dominant mode of travel needs to be problematized. It examines a wide range of issues that are central to automobility by situating it within social, economic, and political contexts, and by combining social theory, specific case studies and policy-oriented analysis. With an international team of contributors the book provides a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the global phenomenon of automobility from the Anglo world to the cases in China and Chile and all the elements that relate to it.
  • Contents: Introduction, Jim Conley and Arlene Tigar McLaren; Part 1 Cultures of Automobility: T-bucket terrors to respectable rebels: hot rodders and drag racers in Vancouver BC, 1948–1965, Catharine Genovese; Automobile advertisements: the magical and the mundane, Jim Conley; SUV advertising: constructing identities and practices, Fiona McLean; Bad impressions: the will to concrete and the projectile economy of cities, Derek Simons. Part 2 Risk and Regulation: The safety race: transitions to the 4th age of the automobile, David MacGregor; Implementing restraint: automobile safety and the US debate over technological and social fixes, Jameson M. Wetmore; 'Mind that child': childhood, traffic and walking in automobilized space, Damian Collins, Catherine Bean and Robin Kearns. Part 3 Inevitable Automobility?: The politics of mobility: de-essentializing automobility and contesting urban space, Jason Henderson; The Chilean way to modernity: private roads, fast cars, neoliberal bodies, Ricardo Trumper and Patricia Tomic; Driven to drive: cars and the problem of 'compulsory consumption', Dennis Soron. Part 4 Beyond the Car: Mobility as a positional good: implications for transport policy and planning, Todd Litman; The global intensification of motorization and its impacts on urban social ecologies, George Martin; Post-car mobilities, Kingsley Dennis and John Urry; Index.
  • About the Editor: Jim Conley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Trent University, Peterborough, Canada. Arlene Tigar McLaren is Professor Emerita in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.
  • Reviews: 'This collection of lively and engaging studies drives home to devastating effect and from different political, material, cultural and social directions, the fundamental contradiction of the car; that it destroys the very environment it makes accessible.'
    Tim Dant, University of Lancaster, UK

    'Car Troubles shows brilliantly how far we have come since Wolfgang Sachs claimed that the "problem with the automobile is that the automobile is not a problem". It gives rich, diverse insights into our problematisation of the car, and into the complex politics of dealing with the problems cars cause.'
    Matthew Paterson, University of Ottawa, Canada