Parenting, care and the family car

Gordon Waitt, Theresa Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws on driving ethnographies conducted with heterosexual parents in a regional centre in New South Wales, Australia, to illustrate the doing of family care in the mobile space of the car. Our analysis employs a narrative ethnography used by geographers working in materialist more-than-human feminist perspectives. In doing so, we advance writing in the gendered geographies of care and car dependency by exploring mothers’ and fathers’ involvement in driving their children. We engage with work which challenges the epistemological and ontological orthodoxies that once dominated transport and family studies in order to better tackle car dependency in the Anthropocene by understanding how parents ‘do’ family somewhere-on-the-move. Parents’ care for and about kin is lived and felt through the sociality of driving somewhere together. We conclude with insights for theory and policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1100
Number of pages22
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Automobility
  • driving ethnography
  • more-than-human feminism

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