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Combustion, Hydraulic, and Other Forms of Masculinity

An Essay Exploring Dominant Values and Representations of the Driver in Driverless Technology

Sarah Redshaw

This article presents two representations of masculinity based on media images found in television and online promotion related to motor vehicles. The dominant image in much advertising is the bursting, thrusting power of what I refer to as “combustion” masculinity, identified as active engagement and connected with significant road trauma. The less visible, fluid power found in professional driving that I refer to as “hydraulic” masculinity draws on precision and awareness of the surroundings rather than aggressive force. Social analysis of electric and driverless vehicle promotion and media discussion indicate that moving to electric and fully automated driving requires overcoming the essential contradiction of combustion power, as it is associated with cars and freedom. Alternative modes and images of being mobile must be highlighted in order to challenge the combustion image. Fundamentally, activity should be ascribed to all mobile persons, and policy and mobility systems should be designed to maximize mobility for all.

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“Amazing Rapidity”

Time, Public Credit, and David Hume’s Political Discourses

Edward Jones Corredera

This article explores David Hume’s views on public credit, the state, and geopolitics as outlined in his Political Discourses. By drawing attention to Hume’s analysis of the speed of political economic dynamics, the article suggests the philosopher feared that public credit, a crucial source of eighteenth-century European economic growth, fundamentally revolutionized the pace of social relations, the mechanics of the state, and European geopolitics at large. Hume’s study of public credit highlighted its role in reshaping eighteenth-century visions of time, and the philosopher’s disappointment with his own solution, in turn, reinforces the need to consider the multifaceted effects of public credit in the modern world.

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Student engagement in the management of accelerated change

Anthropological reflections on ‘Project 2012’ and The Offer

Anselma Gallinat

The prospect of the increase in tuition fees in England from 2012 pulled learning and teaching into the limelight as universities sought to safeguard student recruitment and league table positions in an envisioned new era of increased market competition. As each institution sought to market itself to potential students with a specific learning and teaching ‘offer’, local subject areas faced increasing demands for quality monitoring as well as a host of initiatives and changes to their existing provision. The acceleration of change brought to the fore structures and dynamics that are usually difficult to detect in the routines of everyday life. This article focuses on one U.K. university and explores how the government for accelerated change aimed to reshape learning and teaching practices in preparation for the new times, but in fact served to undermine the visions that had fuelled this change.