Acceleration: The Limits of Speed

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Western cultures have an emphasis on speed that has been noted by theorists
such as Virilio. The desire for cars and computers to go faster and to be
facilitated by faster road and communications networks is well known. But
how much speed can we afford? The discourses of thrill and safety have
grown up with the car, competing with each other for priority. Until fairly
recently a greater emphasis has been on speed. Now there is more concern for
safety and a greater likelihood of seeing the consequences of the desire for
speed. The thrill of speed requires continued acceleration. We can now
comfortably travel at 100kms per hour every day. With speed limits being
dropped more recently there is real protest from those who would privilege
the thrill of speed. Car manufacturers and governments continue to make
speedier cars and roads a selling point. These discourses, however, tend to
exclude the lived environment. The paper will look at ads and feature articles
in regular car magazines, as well as television ads, with an emphasis on
discourses around speed and speed limits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Reinvention of Everyday Life: Culture in the Twenty-first Century
EditorsHoward McNaughton, Adam Lam
Place of PublicationChristchurch
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Pages195-206
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)1877257486, 978-1877257483
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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