In the U.S. car use has steadily increased since the early part of the 20th century. Today, mobility is defined as automobility, or motorization, because about 85 percent of the trips we take (for a purpose) are in automobiles. Central to the growth in automobility has been the size, power and force of the automobile industry. Cars have become woven into American culture so much that it has become cliché to say that we have a “love affair with the car.” Culture can be defined as the symbols of expression that individuals, groups and societies use to make sense of their daily lives and to articulate their values. Culture is reproduced through music, TV, movies and advertising among other venues. We will break down the “love affair with the car” by examining the culture that surrounds the automobile, the promotion of that culture over time and the role of the media in promulgating car-related cultural artifacts.
Social Science (SS)
Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001, 002, or ENSC 001