Anyone who assumes that a car is simply a means to get from point A to point B, or who even thinks that they know what a car is, should read this book. Profoundly shaped by culture, the car gives rise to a wide range of emotions, from guilt about the environment in the UK to aboriginal concerns with car corpses, to struggles to keep the creatures alive with everything but the proper spare parts in West Africa. Cars and their landscapes prove central to human life from its most intimate to the widest sense of global crisis, and are capable of inspiring epic passions. From road rage in Western Europe to the struggles of cab driving in Africa to the emergence of Black identity in the US, this book examines the essential humanity of the car, which includes the jealousies, gender differences, fears and moralities that cars give rise to. Firmly grounded in detailed ethnographic and historical scholarship, this is the first book to provide an informed sense of cars as one of the most familiar and significant forms of material culture.

chapter one|33 pages

Driven Societies

ByDaniel Miller

chapter three|22 pages

The Invisible Car: The Cultural Purification of Road Rage

ByMike Michael

chapter four|24 pages

Driving While Black

ByPaul Gilroy

chapter six|20 pages

Driving, Drinking and Daring in Norway

ByPauline Garvey

chapter seven|32 pages

Kwaku’s Car: The Struggles and Stories of a Ghanaian Long-Distance Taxi-Driver

ByJojada Verrips, Birgit Meyer

chapter eight|18 pages

Soundscapes of the Car: A Critical Study of Automobile Habitation

ByMichael Bull

chapter nine|20 pages

Negotiations of Car Use in Everyday Life

BySimon Maxwell

chapter ten|22 pages

The Colonizing Vehicle

ByGertrude Stotz