Automobility and National Identity

Theory, Culture and Society 21 (4-5):101-120 (2004)

Accounts of the nation and national identity have tended to focus upon the transmission by cultural elites of authoritative culture, invented traditions and folk customs. Following Billig, I suggest that the national is increasingly located in the everyday and in the realm of popular culture; far more so than in ‘high’ and ‘official’ forms of culture. To exemplify this, I discuss national automobilities, specifically exploring the role of iconic models, mundane motorscapes and the everyday, habitual performances of driving. With a particular focus upon British and Indian car cultures, I further suggest that the ‘national’ is not a singular or monolithic entity but is constituted out of a vast matrix of interrelated elements, three of which are the models, geographies and performances identified above. As the national proliferates and expands, becoming globalized, it generates multiple forms of national identity, although consistencies and points of focus remain. Accordingly, as in other cultural fields, I argue that while global manifestations of automobility proliferate, this has not necessarily diminished the salience of the national in the relationship between driving cars and identity. The national thus remains a powerful constituent of identity precisely because of its often unreflexive grounding in everyday spaces and practices
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DOI 10.1177/0263276404046063
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References found in this work BETA

The ‘System’ of Automobility.J. Urry - 2004 - Theory, Culture and Society 21 (4-5):25-39.

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Citations of this work BETA

Automated Vehicles and Transportation Justice.Shane Epting - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-15.
The Car as Avatar in Australian Social Security Decisions.Kieran Tranter - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (4):713-734.
Automotive Emotions.M. Sheller - 2004 - Theory, Culture and Society 21 (4-5):221-242.
Automobilities.M. Featherstone - 2004 - Theory, Culture and Society 21 (4-5):1-24.
Nõukogude Garaažikultuur. Soviet Garage Culture.Tauri Tuvikene - 2012 - Methis: Studia Humaniora Estonica 5 (7).

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