Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship (Paperback)
  • Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship (Paperback)
zoom

Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship (Paperback)

(author)
£23.99
Paperback 360 Pages / Published: 26/02/2008
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
While Americans prize the ability to get behind the wheel and hit the open road, they have not always agreed on what constitutes safe, decorous driving or who is capable of it. Mobility without Mayhem is a lively cultural history of America's fear of and fascination with driving, from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Jeremy Packer analyzes how driving has been understood by experts, imagined by citizens, regulated by traffic laws, governed through education and propaganda, and represented in films, television, magazines, and newspapers. Whether considering motorcycles as symbols of rebellion and angst, or the role of CB radio in regulating driving and in truckers' evasions of those regulations, Packer shows that ideas about safe versus risky driving often have had less to do with real dangers than with drivers' identities.

Packer focuses on cultural figures that have been singled out as particularly dangerous. Women drivers, hot-rodders, bikers, hitchhikers, truckers, those who "drive while black," and road ragers have all been targets of fear. As Packer debunks claims about the dangers posed by each figure, he exposes biases against marginalized populations, anxieties about social change, and commercial and political desires to profit by fomenting fear. Certain populations have been labeled as dangerous or deviant, he argues, to legitimize monitoring and regulation and, ultimately, to curtail access to automotive mobility. Packer reveals how the boundary between personal freedom and social constraint is continually renegotiated in discussions about safe, proper driving.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822339632
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Whether you think of the car as symbolizing freedom, or environmental degradation, you'll find Packer's book thought-provoking, even entertaining." - Cliff Bellamy, Durham Herald-Sun
"Packer's study of the cultural anxieties surrounding the automobile and the attempts to regulate this space (always in the name of 'safety') is quite exhaustive. . . . Packer's examination of the popularity of the Cadillac in African-American communities during this middle part of the 20th century." - Gerry Canavan, Independent Weekly
"Safe driving . . . is not straightforward. Packer's main insight is that the public's attraction to the idea of safety makes it vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation by institutions. While his perspective often seems pessimistic, it is amply backed up, and its criticism of the intrusion of authority into our everyday lives is thought-provoking." - Tim Roberts, M/C Reviews
"Reading a book on traffic safety would seem to most to be a cure for insomnia. However, Jeremy Packer's Mobility Without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship may well keep you up past your bedtime. . . . Packer's informed and nuanced exploration of the relation of mobility to ideology in postwar America is comprehensive, provocative, and instructive. Check it out." - Steven E. Alford, International Journal of Motorcycle Studies
"Packer's book succeeds in illuminating much about the public discourse on and cultural meaning of driving both past and present. In the process, he manages to call into question the fixation with managing risk that seems so all pervasive in American society in the era of the so-called War on Terror. Overall, the book makes a significant contribution to the growing scholarly literature on the automobile and the distinctive way of life it has helped to create. This is no small achievement." - Steve Macek, International Journal of Communication
"Packer's work offers historians insightful analysis of postwar automobility. . . . The book is a fresh and important contribution to the history of mobility in the United States." - Kathleen Franz, The Journal of American History
"Engaging with lively debates in contemporary cultural studies, including critical geography, technological and social history, and popular culture studies, Jeremy Packer denaturalizes the common-sense assumptions that inform our culture's conceptions of drivers and driving."-Jeffrey Sconce, editor of Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics
"For all that the United States trumpets individualism, it is a nation of obedience-to church, kin, commodity, conquest, and, perhaps above all, car. Jeremy Packer takes us along a wild but always disciplined drive in the fast lane of cultural studies."-Toby Miller, author of The Well-Tempered Self: Citizenship, Culture, and the Postmodern Subject
"Packer's book succeeds in illuminating much about the public discourse on and cultural meaning of driving both past and present. In the process, he manages to call into question the fixation with managing risk that seems so all pervasive in American society in the era of the so-called War on Terror. Overall, the book makes a significant contribution to the growing scholarly literature on the automobile and the distinctive way of life it has helped to create. This is no small achievement." -- Steve Macek * International Journal of Communication *
"Packer's work offers historians insightful analysis of postwar automobility. . . . The book is a fresh and important contribution to the history of mobility in the United States." -- Kathleen Franz * Journal of American History *
"Reading a book on traffic safety would seem to most to be a cure for insomnia. However, Jeremy Packer's Mobility Without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship may well keep you up past your bedtime. . . . Packer's informed and nuanced exploration of the relation of mobility to ideology in postwar America is comprehensive, provocative, and instructive. Check it out." -- Steven E. Alford * International Journal of Motorcycle Studies *
"Safe driving . . . is not straightforward. Packer's main insight is that the public's attraction to the idea of safety makes it vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation by institutions. While his perspective often seems pessimistic, it is amply backed up, and its criticism of the intrusion of authority into our everyday lives is thought-provoking." -- Tim Roberts * M/C Reviews *
"Whether you think of the car as symbolizing freedom, or environmental degradation, you'll find Packer's book thought-provoking, even entertaining." -- Cliff Bellamy * Durham Herald-Sun *
"Packer's study of the cultural anxieties surrounding the automobile and the attempts to regulate this space (always in the name of 'safety') is quite exhaustive. . . . Packer's examination of the popularity of the Cadillac in African-American communities during this middle part of the 20th century." -- Gerry Canavan * Independent Weekly *

You may also be interested in...

A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi
Added to basket
Hell's Angels
Added to basket
Cultural Amnesia
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
The How to be British Collection
Added to basket
Lords of the Horizons
Added to basket
The Songlines
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Tipping Point
Added to basket
Payback
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Sapiens
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
Natasha's Dance
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
My Future Listography
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
The Xenophobe's Guide to the English
Added to basket
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Added to basket
Orientalism
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.