Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The sense of freedom and independence that being able to drive generates may be taken for granted by many until it is threatened by illness. Drawing on the ‘mobility turn’ in social sciences that emphasises the social and emotional significance of the car (Sheller and Urry 2000, 2006), this article presents secondary analysis of narratives of driving and its significance across four neurological conditions (epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, transient ischaemic attack and motor neurone disease). Taking an interactionist approach we explore how the withdrawal of a driving licence can represent not just a practical and emotional loss of independence, but also loss of enjoyment; of a sense and feeling of ‘normal’ adulthood and social participation; and of an identity (in some cases gendered) of strength and power. Conversely the ability to keep driving can maintain an unbroken thread of narrative, for example enabling people with speech difficulties to feel and look normal behind the wheel. Moments of pleasure and normality illuminate the importance of examining the micro‐strands of disruption illness can cause.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/1467-9566.12754

Type

Journal article

Journal

Sociology of Health and Illness

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Publication Date

22/05/2018