In the Company of Cars: Driving as a Social and Cultural Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

In the Company of Cars

Driving as a Social and Cultural Practice, 1st Edition

By Sarah Redshaw

CRC Press

208 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138071797
pub: 2017-03-31
SAVE ~$12.00
Hardback: 9780754671985
pub: 2008-07-23
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315588186
pub: 2017-09-29
from $30.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


It has long been accepted that the social and cultural meanings of the car far exceed the practical need for mobility. This book marks the first attempt to contribute to road safety, considering, in depth, these meanings and the cultures of driving that are shaped by them. In the Company of Cars examines the perspectives that young people have on cars, and explores the broader social and cultural meanings of the car, the potential it is supposed to fulfil, and the anticipated benefits it offers to young drivers. From focus-group research conducted in Australia, the book takes up the views of young people on a range of topics, from media to car use to gender performance. The author looks at the ways in which driving has been defined by articulations of the car that emphasize valued features of the car-driver, such as gender, youthfulness, status, age, power, raciness, sexiness, ruggedness and competitiveness. The book takes a global perspective on mobility, considering the impact of cars and road safety policy on quality of life, and the value and significance of other modes of travel, in a range of countries.


'I strongly recommend this empirically rich book which details how different social groups live with their cars. This book makes a major contribution to developing analyses of those complex connections between social life and the machines that mobilise that life.' John Urry, Lancaster University, UK 'Redshaw approaches driving as a social and cultural practice, in a highly original, theoretically and empirically informed, manner that helps us understand our relations with the car as complex, ambiguous, pleasurable, and meaningful.' Graeme Turner, University of Queensland, Australia 'Anyone who is in any way affected by cars should read this book. Moreover, many of Redshaw's findings should be incorporated into the assessment criteria for obtaining a driver's licence in Australia. Her emphasis on young drivers arises from a genuine concern to reduce Australia's unacceptable road toll.' M/C Reviews, August 2008

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Tim Dant; Preface; Introduction: cars and their associations; Enticing cars and driving styles; Inscribing driving: boredom and pleasure on the roads; Cultured drivers; Driven by desire; Dilemmas of the car; An ethical future of mobility; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Sarah Redshaw has been conducting research projects for a number of years on the social and cultural issues related to young drivers and their over-representation in road casualties. She has been Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney and has collaborated with local councils, government departments and other organisations. She has employed social and cultural theory to better understand important areas of social/everyday life in ways that might have direct implications for policy. The significant impact of the research in the community and within the road safety field has been demonstrated in invitations to submit to Federal and State government inquiries and to consult with government departments.

About the Series

Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport

Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport
Today's society confronts major land transport problems. Human and financial costs of road vehicle crashes and rail incidents are increasing, with road vehicle crashes predicted to become the third largest cause of death and injury globally by 2020. Several social trends pose threats to safety, including increasing vehicle ownership and traffic congestion, advancing technological complexity at the human-vehicle interface, population ageing in the developed world, and ever greater numbers of younger vehicle drivers in the developing world. Ashgate's Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport series makes a timely contribution to these issues by focusing on human and organisational aspects of road and rail safety. The series responds to increasing demands for safe, efficient, economical and environmentally-friendly land-based transport. It does this by reporting on state-of-the-art science that may be applied to reduce vehicle collisions and improve vehicle usability as well as enhancing driver wellbeing and satisfaction. It achieves this by disseminating new theoretical and empirical research generated by specialists in the behavioural and allied disciplines, including traffic and transportation psychology, human factors and ergonomics. The series addresses such topics as driver behaviour and training, in-vehicle technology, driver health and driver assessment. Specially commissioned works from internationally recognised experts provide authoritative accounts of leading approaches to real-world problems in this important field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Transportation
COMPUTERS / Social Aspects / Human-Computer Interaction
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety