Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between

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Last updated on August 5th, 2017 at 08:12 am

Competing views are held over the aims and effectiveness of this new road safety advertisement. On the one hand, academic Glen:

Maybe if they asked some people who actually do research on young male drivers and car culture, etc they would know that cars within car culture operate as part of a homosocial institution. So the car, instead of a woman (original homosocial relation), as an object is the third term that mediates sociality between men or those who are performing masculinities. Questioning the size of a young male driver’s penis may seem like a tremendously funny neo-freudian way to punish young male drivers by way of inference but it fails to grasp the difference between homosociality and homosexuality. Homosociality may involve homoerotic undercurrents or be part of a homoerotic libidinal economy but this is always mediated by a third term …

The whole relation between risk – or exploiting the contingencies of social life – and expectations of masculine behaviour needs attention particularly if we are trying to move towards ‘sustainable’ modes of sociality. I don’t see this ad doing that work.

In fact, it is no better than Howard’s modus operatum to target populations within which a problem exists rather than targeting the problem itself by recognising that probelm exists across a whole range of different populations (alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, etc). If someone wants to …

Thank you, Glen; you raise several very important-sounding points. But so too does YouTube commenter jspecmaz:

i think the ad states that everyones pissweak and needs to try harder. MORE SMOKE…MORE ANGLE!

Further study of the issue is probably required.

Posted by Tim B. on 06/25/2007 at 06:26 AM