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Careless men, careless masculinities?: Understanding young men's risk-taking with motor vehicles as violations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2014 (English)In: Norma, ISSN 1890-2138, E-ISSN 1890-2146, Vol. 9, no 3, 191-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Young men's risk-taking with motor vehicles regularly generates public debate as a traffic safety issue, often resulting in various policy suggestions, such as curfews or raising of the driving licence age. This article is based on an ethnographic study of the ‘Volvo greasers’, young men and women aged 15 to 19, in a peri-urban community in Sweden. The focus is particularly on the greasers' risk-taking practices with motor vehicles, such as speeding and drifting. In order to understand how the greasers' risk-taking with vehicles is manifested, talked about and practised, the article critically engages with the contexts of the risk-taking practices and their effects at both the material and the discursive levels. Through contextualization as an analytical tool, a situated concept of risk-taking is developed, which illustrates how intersecting norms and conceptions around age, gender, class and place are practised at the local level. The aim is to explore the greasers' risk-related talk and practices through the notion of ‘control’: how different activities, practices and recountings of particular situations together function to control vehicles, the narrative around risk-taking and the emotions involved. I argue that the foregrounding of these controlling practices in the greaser culture legitimates a lack of care for oneself and others, which constructs the greaser men as not only carefree, but also careless. Consequently, I suggest that an approach to risk-taking practices as a kind of violation would be beneficial, due in part to their potentially harmful consequences and in part to the construction of careless men as a consequence of the controlling practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 9, no 3, 191-204 p.
Keyword [en]
masculinity, age, risk-taking, violation, Volvo greasers
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234873DOI: 10.1080/18902138.2014.943009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-234873DiVA: diva2:758188
Available from: 2014-10-24 Created: 2014-10-24 Last updated: 2014-10-24

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/18902138.2014.943009#.VEpYvk2KCUk

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Joelsson, Tanja
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