Chapter 5, The Role of the Automobile in American Culture
Chapter 5 of Issues in Social Justice takes an in-depth look at how the automobile has shaped society, both geographically and sociologically. The chapter gives a history lesson on the automobile and the major players in the explosive growth of the industry. The American economy has a large section of the chapter dedicated to it and how the automobile helped the economy flourish. A number of questions are also answered such as “how does an automobile shape one’s self image, and other people’s view of a person?” ‘
How do we FEEL about the reading WE just finished?
As a non-driver, I feel removed from a lot of the chapter I just read. I use public transit for the majority of my transportation and see the bus as a more environmentally friendly and affordable way to get around. The section of the chapter that talks about one’s identity in relation to their automobile is completely lost on me since I’ve never owned a car and rarely feel the need for one or my own. The rest of the chapter is mainly a history lesson on how the automobile shaped the American landscape and I can’t really comment on that too much other than to say that it was an interesting read.
What do we THINK about the reading WE just finished?
After the reading I feel like the automobile is (clearly) capable of a lot of good, but also harbours some unhealthy repercussions. It’s extremely important in facilitating comerce and industry. Without the automobile the country wouldn’t have seen the economic growth it has seen for the past century. The unhealthy aspects are that certain people get stigmatized for not being able to drive or willfully declining to drive and that just isn’t cool. Also, when one begins to see their sense of self worth signified by the car they drive, I can’t help but feel like that can’t be good either.
What do WE BELIEVE about the reading WE just finished?
Considering most of the chapter was a history lesson, I believe most all of the chapter. There isn’t really too much to dispute.
What do WE KNOW about the reading WE just finished?
Again, being a someone who doesn’t drive and hasn’t really read up much about the automobile prior, most of this chapter was news to me. The history of the car was pretty intersting, especially the passage on page 126 where it states, “Laws were passed and changed to favor the car companies who argued their industry was fueling the American economy,” because it shows how much power, even early on in the automobile’s life, the car companies could leverage because of their place in society.