Articulations of the car: The dominant articulations of racing and rally driving

Sarah Redshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing on a number of sources, including social and cultural accounts of mobility, such as those of Sheller and Urry and by Zygmunt Bauman, car advertising, and focus group discussions with young drivers, the violence of the car and its shaping influence in contemporary life are considered through an application of the idea of articulation from Grossberg. Highlighting articulations of the car, particularly the dominant articulations of racing and rally driving evident in particular types of advertising, allows an examination of the destructive potential of particular driving cultures and also illustrates the meanings inscribed into the car, thus challenging its apparent neutrality. The racing articulations are connected to aggressive, competitive styles of driving, extending into competitive social relations and implicating an emphasis on aggressive individualism. There has been some dialogue in the road safety community about what counts as aggressive behaviour but these discussions often do not take into account the innate violence of the car itself and tend to consider only extreme behaviours as aggressive. The forms of self-control that arise in relation to the dominant articulations and the desires appealed to in advertising are sketched. Focus group responses to two car advertisements emphasising social competition and extreme thrill-seeking are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-141
    Number of pages21
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


    • Aggression
    • Cars
    • Driving
    • Mobility
    • Racing


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