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Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship by Jeremy Packer

By Jeremy Packer

While american citizens prize the power to get in the back of the wheel and hit the open street, they've got no longer continuously agreed on what constitutes secure, decorous riding or who's in a position to it. Mobility with no Mayhem is a full of life cultural background of America’s worry of and fascination with using, from the mid-twentieth century to the current. Jeremy Packer analyzes how using has been understood by means of specialists, imagined by way of voters, regulated by way of site visitors legislation, ruled via schooling and propaganda, and represented in movies, tv, magazines, and newspapers. even if contemplating bikes as symbols of uprising and angst, or the function of CB radio in regulating using and in truckers’ evasions of these rules, Packer indicates that rules approximately secure as opposed to dicy riding frequently have had much less to do with genuine risks than with drivers’ identities.

Packer specializes in cultural figures which were singled out as really harmful. ladies drivers, hot-rodders, bikers, hitchhikers, truckers, those that “drive whereas black,” and highway ragers have all been goals of worry. As Packer debunks claims concerning the risks posed by way of each one determine, he exposes biases opposed to marginalized populations, anxieties approximately social swap, and advertisement and political wants to revenue through fomenting worry. sure populations were classified as harmful or deviant, he argues, to legitimize tracking and rules and, finally, to curtail entry to car mobility. Packer finds how the boundary among own freedom and social constraint is constantly renegotiated in discussions approximately secure, right driving.

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