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Title: "Driven to distraction?" Children's experiences of car travel
Authors: Barker, J
Keywords: Cars;Children;Automobility
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Mobilities, 4(1), 59 - 76, 2009
Abstract: Cars have become increasingly significant features in the lives of many children and adults in the UK and elsewhere. Whilst there is a growing body of research considering how adults experience automobility, that is the increasingly central role of cars within societies, there has been little equivalent research exploring children's perspectives. Drawing upon a variety of methods including personal diaries, photographs, in‐depth interviews and surveys amongst schools within Buckinghamshire and North London, the paper contributes to filling this gap in existing research through exploring how cars are not only journey spaces for children, but are also sites for play, relaxation, homework, companionship, technology and the consumption of commodities. Using a Foucauldian analysis of power, insights into wider familial processes relating to mobility are provided by exploring how cars are sites of conflicting power relations between parents and children. The paper also explores how children's everyday experiences of cars were framed by wider sets of power relations, including car corporations which design and manufacture these spaces, and the role of capital which commodifies everyday activities in cars. In doing so, the paper challenges existing research on automobility for only focusing upon adults' experiences of cars and begins to theorise a more inclusive account of automobility which incorporates children and young people.
Description: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in volume, 4, issue 1, pages 59-76 in Mobilities 2009. Copyright @ 2009 Taylor & Francis, available online at:
ISSN: 1745-0101
Appears in Collections:Human Geography
Social Work
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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