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From 'freedom of the open road' to 'cocooning': Understanding resistance to change in personal private automobility

Wells, Peter Erskine ORCID: and Xenias, Dimitrios ORCID: 2015. From 'freedom of the open road' to 'cocooning': Understanding resistance to change in personal private automobility. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 16 , pp. 106-119. 10.1016/j.eist.2015.02.001

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This review paper takes the perspective of cultures of automobility in an historical context to understand resistance to attempts to alter the personal automobility paradigm with more sustainable alternative mobility concepts. The paper seeks to urge caution upon those that identify ‘peak car’ or an imminent socio-technical transition to sustainable mobility and a re-emergence of public transportation modes. The paper argues that cars as cultural objects have shifted from embodying the ideological philosophy of personal freedom to that of cocooning. In so doing the paper seeks to inject a note of caution into the debate over emergent post-automobility societies through reflection on the character and impact of cultures of automobility. Despite the possible declining functionality of cars as a means of transport, it is concluded that their appeal as personal space remains and may even be enhanced by future technological changes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cars; Culture; Post-automobility; Security; Socio-technical transitions; Urbanism
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2210-4224
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 25 February 2015
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 08:06

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