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Rationalising Automobility in the Face of Climate Change


Laura Bang Lindegaard

The book investigates the negotiation of governmental rationalities of car-dependent life in the face of climate change. It appears that current forms of governing are bound up with a specific utilisation of the freedom of the governed. Accordingly, the book demonstrates how the governing of automobility unfolds as people account for and, hence, conduct their transportation practices. In this way, it unravels how villagers in a small Danish village negotiate a municipal strategy and conduct their transportation practices in ways that merely sustain the villagers’ already maintained car-dependent life forms.
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5. Site, data and approach


This chapter is the first of three discussing and demonstrating how the theoretical argument of the book can be utilised in actual, empirical analysis. Considering the empirical site, the data and the approach undertaken, this chapter provides the methodological clarifications needed for the analysis proper carried out in Chapter Six and Chapter Seven. Particularly, this chapter clarifies how I approach the discursive accomplishment of rationalities that co-constitute the governing of automobility; or, specifically, it clarifies how I approach the rationalisations and negotiations of, firstly, one’s own transportation practices and, secondly, the intersection of a municipal strategy aimed at ‘improving’ citizens’ transportation practices and citizens’ self-administration.

Whereas the methodology is mainly informed by the specific approach to EMCA discussed in Chapter Three, naturally it reflects the dual theoretical starting point in ethnomethodology and studies of governmentality. Accordingly, the methodology does not simply reflect a ‘pure’ EMCA study of current forms of government, but an EMCA-inspired analysis utilised to make a first stage analysis of orders of rationalities that is then interpreted in terms of governmentality theory. As such, the analysis is clearly designed and carried out by an analyst who is reflexively embedded in theoretical as well as empirical memberships. The chapter comprises three sections; the first presenting both the empirical site and the design of the study, the second undertaking a discussion of how to approach focus group data in ethnomethodological research, and the third presenting the most important tools utilised in the analysis.

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