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Mad Max: The Car and Australian Governance

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Abstract:

This article argues that the car is an intimate aspect of the governance of Australia. The term 'governance' is defined as the techniques used to know, order and manage individuals. The film Mad Max II: The Road Warrior is used as a prism to separate out the roles that the car performs in governance. Three roles are identified: the car as identity, the car as myth and the car as power. Applying this framework to Australia reveals the car's complex involvement in Australian governance, from the knowing and ordering of others, to collective myths of possession and future prosperity, to the knowing of place from space, to the removal of indigenous children. The significance of the car means Australia can be characterised as the petrochemical, chrome-plated cyborg republic of Oz.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14608940307120

Affiliations: Griffith University, Australia

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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