The article is a systematic review of articles published in the first decade of 2000s dealing with the history of the automobile both as industrial product and mobility tool. It foresees the risk of polarization in mobility research: on the one hand, a history of mobility entirely focused on ‘discourse’ and on the meanings and representations of mobility (cultural studies); on the other hand, a history of production and business, more and more technical and ancillary to management studies. Factory life, industrial relations and both process and product technology risk relegation to a restricted niche of experts; this would mean the loss of a terrain highly fertile for research in social, political and economic history. And still the question is if mobility history and the new mobility paradigm can really ignore on the one side the hardware of technology, and the other, the firm as organization which through the production, R&D and marketing functions, shapes the car as a artefact. The article suggests a series of contributions which are relevant to both the new mobility paradigm and the studies on the manufacturing and business history of the automobile. The article illustrates the advantages of a dialogue between studies focusing on the business history of the automotive industry and studies looking at the automobile from the perspective of users and of mobility culture.

Production versus Mobility: New Perspectives for an Old Dilemma

Fava V.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2010

Abstract

The article is a systematic review of articles published in the first decade of 2000s dealing with the history of the automobile both as industrial product and mobility tool. It foresees the risk of polarization in mobility research: on the one hand, a history of mobility entirely focused on ‘discourse’ and on the meanings and representations of mobility (cultural studies); on the other hand, a history of production and business, more and more technical and ancillary to management studies. Factory life, industrial relations and both process and product technology risk relegation to a restricted niche of experts; this would mean the loss of a terrain highly fertile for research in social, political and economic history. And still the question is if mobility history and the new mobility paradigm can really ignore on the one side the hardware of technology, and the other, the firm as organization which through the production, R&D and marketing functions, shapes the car as a artefact. The article suggests a series of contributions which are relevant to both the new mobility paradigm and the studies on the manufacturing and business history of the automobile. The article illustrates the advantages of a dialogue between studies focusing on the business history of the automotive industry and studies looking at the automobile from the perspective of users and of mobility culture.
Mobility in History. The State of the Art in the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3763589
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