Destabilising automobility? The emergent mobilities of generation Y
- 498 Downloads
This paper uses empirical material gathered with young adults in New Zealand to examine a potential sustainability transition-in-practice. It draws from two frameworks; the actor-centred Energy Cultures Framework to explore mobility behaviours, and the multi-level perspective (MLP) to situate behaviour change within the socio-technical transitions literature. The MLP has traditionally been used to analyse historical transitions (e.g. from the horse and cart to the motor vehicle), but in this paper, it is used to explore an on-going change trend; the emergent mobilities of young adults who appear to be aspiring for different types of mobility. A series of mobility trends are described, which emerged from a programme of qualitative interviews (n = 51). The material culture, norms and practices that constitute these trends are articulated. These are then considered through the lens of the MLP. The evidence points to emergent trends of multimodality that, if leveraged upon and supported, could contribute to a systemic sustainability transition.
KeywordsAutomobility Energy cultures framework Generation Y Millennial generation Mobility trends Multi-level perspective (MLP) Socio-technical transitions
This research was completed whilst the author was based at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, working on the Energy Cultures project. Janet Stephenson, Gerry Carrington, Michelle Scott and three anonymous reviewers are thanked for their constructive feedback on earlier versions of this paper.
- Adey, P., D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, and M. Sheller. 2014. The Routledge handbook of mobilities. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Benckendorff, P., G. Moscardo, and D. Pendergast. 2010. Tourism and Generation Y. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Berkhout, F., A. Smith, and A. Stirling. 2004. Socio-technological regimes and transition contexts. In System innovation and the transition to sustainability: Theory, evidence and policy, ed. B. Elzen, F.W. Geels, and K. Green, 48–75. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Boswijk, A. 2013. The power of the economy of experiences: new ways of value creation. In Handbook on the experience economy, ed. J. Sundbo, and F. Sørensen. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
- Clifton, K.J., and S.L. Handy. 2001. Qualitative methods in travel behaviour research. In International conference on transport survey quality and innovation, Kruger National Park, South Africa. August 5–10.Google Scholar
- Conley, J. 2009. Automobile advertising: The magical and the mundane. In Car troubles: Critical studies of automobility and auto-mobility, ed. J. Conley, and A.T. McLaren. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Conley, J., and A.T. McLaren. 2009. Introduction. In Car troubles: Critical studies of automobility and auto-mobility, ed. J. Conley, and A.T. McLaren, 1–17. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Gaskins, K. 2010. The new sharing economy: Latitude. Massachusetts. Available from: http://latdsurvey.net/pdf/Sharing.pdf.
- Litman, T., and F. Laube. 2002. Automobile dependency and economic development. Victoria: Victoria Transport Policy Institute.Google Scholar
- Lucas, K. 2013. Qualitative methods in transport research: The ‘action research’ approach. In Transport survey methods: Best practice for decision-making, ed. J. Zmud, M. Lee-Gosselin, and J.A. Carrasco. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.Google Scholar
- Martin, G. 2009. The global intensification of motorisation and its impacts on urban social ecologies. In Cat troubles: Critical studies of automobility and auto-mobility, ed. J. Conley, and A.T. McLaren, 219–233. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- NZ Ministry of Transport. 2014. Future Demand: New Zealand transport and society trends and projections. Available from: http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Our-Work/Documents/fd-trends-and-projections.pdf.
- Oatman-Standford, H. 2014. Murder machines: Why cars will kill 30,000 Americans this year. http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/murder-machines/.Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Parkhurst, G., R. Kemp, M. Dijk, and H. Sherwin. 2012. Intermodal personal mobility: A niche caught between two regimes. In Automobility in transition? A socio-technical analysis of sustainable transport, ed. F.W. Geels, R. Kemp, G. Dudley, and G. Lyons, 308–334. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Paterson, M. 2007. Automobile politics: Ecology and cultural political economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Sheller, M., and J. Urry. 2006. Mobile technologies of the city. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sims, R., and R. Schaeffer. 2014. Transport. In Climate change 2014: Mitigation of climate change, ed. IPCC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Soron, D. 2009. Driven to drive: Cars and the problem of ‘compulsory consumption. In Car troubles: Critical studies of automobility and auto-mobility, ed. J. Conley, and A.T. McLaren, 181–196. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Stephenson, J., B. Barton, J. Carrington, A. Doering, R. Ford, D. Hopkins, and B. Wooliscroft. 2015. The energy cultures framework: Exploring the role of norms, practices and material culture in shaping energy behaviour in New Zealand. Energy Research and Social Science 7: 117–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Urry, J. 2007. Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar