background [objectives] methodology staff publications corpus


1. To contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the contemporary spatial organisation and practical arrangement of collective car travel and car sharing. The project will examine two main forms of collective use of single vehicles, firstly where they are used by multiple occupants at the same time (e.g. friends on a daytrip, school runs, etc.). Secondly, we will look at the sequential sharing by multiple users (e.g car hire, car share).

2. To develop theories of mobility and transport by locating them in the actual forms and improvised solutions drivers and passengers use to travel together and share specific types of vehicles. This project aim will provide details that general and over-arching theories of car travel miss. We will look at how problems and solutions organised via driver and passenger roles, vary by type of car (SUV, mini, people-carrier), type of social group (colleague, friends, family, clients and unacquainted), type of journey (commute, daytrip, school run, shopping trip), subcategories of the group (e.g. colleagues, acquaintances, mother-child, friend-friend) type of parallel activity (conversations, meetings, phone calls and navigation) and type of car ownership (rented, cooperative, borrowed, parentally owned etc.)

3. To collect data on the multiple activities that have emerged or have been translated into and transformed by the space of car. The project will aim to collect data on the skilful ways in which these are activities adapted into the unusual interactional space of the car as a side-by-side, row-by-row arrangement (compared to the face-to-face of office desks, kitchen tables etc.)

4. To develop digital video as a data source in recording and analysing real-time action in vehicles and for, more generally, recording social action. A key aim will be to further secure the use of video as robust evidence in social and cultural research.

5. To contribute to improvements in design for collective private travel and to provide evidence and analysis to support policy related to car travel and transport more generally