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Driving and 'passengering': notes on the ordinary organization of car travel

Noble, Allyson and Laurier, Eric and Lorimer, Hayden and Brown, Barry and Jones, Owain and Juhlin, Oskar and Perry, Mark and Pica, Daniele (2008) Driving and 'passengering': notes on the ordinary organization of car travel. Mobilities, 3 (1). pp. 1-23.

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We spend ever-increasing periods of our lives travelling in cars, yet quite what it is we do while travelling, aside from driving the vehicle itself, is largely overlooked. Drawing on analyses of video records of a series of quite ordinary episodes of car travel, in this paper we begin to document what happens during car journeys. The material concentrates on situations where people are travelling together in order to examine how social units such as families or relationships such as colleagues or friends are re-assembled and re-organised in the small-scale spaces that are car interiors. Particular attention is paid to the forms of conversation occurring during car journeys and the manner in which they are complicated by seating and visibility arrangements. Finally, the paper touches upon the unusual form of hospitality which emerges in car-sharing.