The phenomenology of automobility violence

Projekt Leitung: Robert Braun
Team: Anna Gerhardus, Johannes Starkbaum
Laufzeit: 2022–2025
Finanzierung: FWF


Details nur auf Englisch verfügbar:

This research proposal aims at challenging the dominant systems-theory based approach of automobility and road accident causation models. This project applies ethnomethodology combined with action research to address its research question and fulfil its objectives. The project ask the research question: ‘What are the constitutive elements of a phenomenologically informed understanding of road accidents in urban environs?’ It is our hypothesis that accidents are the result of non-systemic and non-linear patterns within the spatio-political automobility order and are habituated in and by the imaginary of automobility. As such, they need to be assessed via the sensory, experiential field of relationships with the material world and should be conceptually located within the context of an automobility imaginary. Our objective is to provide a comparative, participatory, social science grounded, alternative account of road accidents anchored in comparative cross-national political-cultural experimentation and offer evidence base for a (post-phenomenologically informed) critical automobility concept that may be further developed into a full-fledged, non-systems theory of automobility.  We will use mixed participatory and ethnomethodological approaches in a comparative politico-cultural environment to uncover the constitutive experiential elements of a phenomenologically informed accident model. This will be investigated in two countries offering a socio comparative perspective. Ethnomethodology will be used to harvest data from accident victims in the form of ride-alongs; these will be reflected upon and discussed in action research based social labs. Co-designed small-scale change experiments that address the governmentality of automobility will be developed. A comparative analysis will be provided using templates for comparing experiences, reflections and experiments both across social labs and national/cultural contexts. A phenomenological appropriation of accidents will not only collect experiences related to actual events, but also focus on non-events that may aid our knowledge of what accident experience actually is.