Author: Zack Furness
Publisher: Temple University Press
Release Date: 2010-03-12
Genre: Political Science
Although millions of people in the United States love to ride bicycles for exercise or leisure, statistics show that only 1% of the total U.S. population ride bicycles for transportation—and barely half as many use bikes to commute to work. In his original and exciting book, One Less Car, Zack Furness examines what it means historically, culturally, socioeconomically, and politically to be a bicycle transportation advocate/activist. Presenting an underground subculture of bike enthusiasts who aggressively resist car culture, Furness maps out the cultural trajectories between mobility, technology, urban space and everyday life. He connects bicycling to radical politics, public demonstrations, alternative media production (e.g., ‘zines), as well as to the development of community programs throughout the world. One Less Car also positions the bicycle as an object with which to analyze and critique some of the dominant cultural and political formations in the U.S.—and even breaks down barriers of race, class and gender privilege that are interconnected to mobility. For Furness, bicycles not only liberate people from technology, they also support social and environmental justice. So, he asks, Why aren’t more Americans adopting them for their transportation needs?
Our continued use of the combustion engine car in the 21st century, despite many rational arguments against it, makes it more and more difficult to imagine that transport has a sustainable future. Offering a sweeping transatlantic perspective, this book explains the current obsession with automobiles by delving deep into the motives of early car users. It provides a synthesis of our knowledge about the emergence and persistence of the car, using a broad range of material including novels, poems, films, and songs to unearth the desires that shaped our present "car society." Combining social, psychological, and structural explanations, the author concludes that the ability of cars to convey transcendental experience, especially for men, explains our attachment to the vehicle.
Author: Lawrence Herzog
Release Date: 2014-07-17
Genre: Social Science
Global Suburbs: Urban Sprawl from the Rio Grande to Rio de Janeiro offers a critical new perspective on the emerging phenomenon of the global suburb in the western hemisphere. American suburban sprawl has created a giant human habitat stretching from Las Vegas to San Diego, and from Mexico to Brazil, presented here in a clear and comprehensive style with in depth descriptions and images. Challenging the ecological problems that stem from these flawed suburban developments, Herzog targets an often overlooked and potentially disastrous global shift in urban development. This book will give depth to courses on suburbs, development, urban studies, and the environment.
Capitalism's Eye is an extremely ambitious cultural history of how people experienced commodities in the era of industrial expansion. Writing against the dominant argument that the 'society of the spectacle' emerged fully formed in the mid-nineteenth century, Kevin Hetherington explains that the emergence of a culture of mass consumption dominated by visual experience was a much slower process, not truly ascendant until after the First World War. Looking at the department stores, home life, and the great exhibitions around the turn of the last century, Capitalism's Eye promises to transform how we understand both the cultural history of capitalism in America and Europe and the historical roots of the mediated spectacle that dominates our world today.
Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest and purest forms of communication. Until now, however, it has remained largely undocumented. Advertising Outdoors looks at the creative ingenuity of art directors and copywriters who devise the artwork and ideas for outdoor advertising, to explore how their artistic input drives an industry that supplies large-scale frames, billboards, transit shelters, bus sides, taxis, airships and many other locations. David Bernstein also analyses the rise of commercial art and the development of advertising, with close reference to successful advertising campaigns. This book will be of enormous interest to designers, advertising professionals and clients, though no less accessible to any reader who is intrigued by the complex mechanics of the apparently simple world of advertising.
A sociologist reveals how shopping has changed American life, its influence radiating out into the economic and cultural sectors, impacting everything from fashion to the internet, while also inspiring consumerism all over the world and promoting the "american dream" abroad.
Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.
Author: Marguerite S. Shaffer
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2012-04-17
In the United States today many people are as likely to identify themselves by their ethnicity or region as by their nationality. In this country with its diversity and inequalities, can there be a shared public culture? Is there an unbridgeable gap between cultural variety and civic unity, or can public forms of expression provide an opportunity for Americans to come together as a people? In Public Culture: Diversity, Democracy, and Community in the United States, an interdisciplinary group of scholars addresses these questions while considering the state of American public culture over the past one hundred years. From medicine shows to the Internet, from the Los Angeles Plaza to the Las Vegas Strip, from the commemoration of the Oklahoma City bombing to television programming after 9/11, public sights and scenes provide ways to negotiate new forms of belonging in a diverse, postmodern community. By analyzing these cultural phenomena, the essays in this volume reveal how mass media, consumerism, increased privatization of space, and growing political polarization have transformed public culture and the very notion of the American public. Focusing on four central themes—public action, public image, public space, and public identity—and approaching shared culture from a range of disciplines—including mass communication, history, sociology, urban studies, ethnic studies, and cultural studies—Public Culture offers refreshing perspectives on a subject of perennial significance.
Author: Ginger Strand
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2012-04-04
Starting in the 1950s, Americans eagerly built the planet’s largest public work: the 42,795-mile National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Before the concrete was dry on the new roads, however, a specter began haunting them—the highway killer. He went by many names: the “Hitcher,” the “Freeway Killer,” the “Killer on the Road,” the “I-5 Strangler,” and the “Beltway Sniper.” Some of these criminals were imagined, but many were real. The nation’s murder rate shot up as its expressways were built. America became more violent and more mobile at the same time. Killer on the Road tells the entwined stories of America’s highways and its highway killers. There’s the hot-rodding juvenile delinquent who led the National Guard on a multistate manhunt; the wannabe highway patrolman who murdered hitchhiking coeds; the record promoter who preyed on “ghetto kids” in a city reshaped by freeways; the nondescript married man who stalked the interstates seeking women with car trouble; and the trucker who delivered death with his cargo. Thudding away behind these grisly crime sprees is the story of the interstates—how they were sold, how they were built, how they reshaped the nation, and how we came to equate them with violence. Through the stories of highway killers, we see how the “killer on the road,” like the train robber, the gangster, and the mobster, entered the cast of American outlaws, and how the freeway—conceived as a road to utopia—came to be feared as a highway to hell.
The Hummer: Myths and Consumer Culture is a study of the notorious automobile/sports utility vehicle. Featuring more than fifteen essays, this collection analyzes the Hummer through a wide array of disciplines, including material culture, marketing and advertising, popular culture, military technology, urban planning, and political economy. It provides a complete overview of the vehicle: production, marketing aspects, and cultural significance.