The phenomenon of road rage has attracted much media attention since the mid-1990s, but little research has been conducted into how motorists have incorporated the concept into their experiences and understandings of driving. This article reports the findings from a qualitative study on road rage, which used inÂ·depth interviews with 77 people living in Sydney to investigate the meanings given to road rage and aggressive driving. The research showed that driving was a potent source of autonomy, pleasure and self-expression among motorists, meanings that were often frustrated by the travails of negotiating the road system. The concept of road rage had become integrated into the interviewees' accounts of driving, and they were uniformly condemning of it. Road rage was represented as a response to the stresses of urban living, not only driving in a crowded road system but also the pressures exerted by such factors as a competitive work environment and lack of time. A strong gender and social class difference was noted in the ways in which the interviewees described their emotional responses to driving frustrations. The findings revealed that the expression of anger in road rage is negatively conceptualized because of the challenges it poses to the idea of the 'civilized' body/self, but also that such expression is seen as understandable in the context of an urban environment replete with stress.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Sociology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|