Driving and 'Passengering': Notes on the Ordinary Organization of Car Travel

Eric Laurier, Hayden Lorimer, Barry Brown, Owain Jones, Oskar Juhlin, Allyson Noble, Mark Perry, Daniele Pica, Philippe Sormani, Ignaz Strebel, Laurel Swan, Alex S. Taylor, Laura Watts, Alexandra Weilenmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We spend ever-increasing periods of our lives travelling in cars, yet quite what it is we do while travelling, aside from driving the vehicle itself, is largely overlooked. Drawing on analyses of video records of a series of quite ordinary episodes of car travel, in this paper we begin to document what happens during car journeys. The material concentrates on situations where people are travelling together in order to examine how social units such as families or relationships such as colleagues or friends are re-assembled and re-organised in the small-scale spaces that are car interiors. Particular attention is paid to the forms of conversation occurring during car journeys and the manner in which they are complicated by seating and visibility arrangements. Finally, the paper touches upon the unusual form of hospitality which emerges in car-sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • driving
  • passengers
  • interaction
  • car travel


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