In 2004, Mimi Sheller highlighted that emotions and sensations play a key part in sustaining the dominant culture of automobility. Sheller’s work ‘Automotive Emotions’ has been followed by a decade of technological, social and cultural developments, many of which have enhanced the way we dwell in, and seek comfort from, the private car. Ten years on we are still ‘feeling the car’. This paper draws on empirical research on the journey to work in a large auto-dependent city. It explores the function of sensory experience in sustaining automobility through contemporary impracticalities such as constraints on carbon and increased congestion. A practice theory frame is used to unpick this role and feeling the car is positioned as a subtle yet integral element cementing the practice of driving.
- Practice theory