Stories of the future: personal mobility innovation in the United Kingdom

Bergman, Noam (2017) Stories of the future: personal mobility innovation in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science. ISSN 2214-6296

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Abstract

This paper looks at personal transport futures in the context of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, as portrayed in documents from various stakeholders in the transport sector. It analyses the role of frames and narratives in constructing stories of the future, through the lens of two innovations: electric vehicles (EVs) and car clubs. Most of the documents draw on technological progress to tell stories of a future similar to the present but with EVs or other low-carbon vehicles, while car club focused documents stress broader notions of sustainability. A number of economic, technological and political-related frames are identified, which are used in constructing and justifying these stories. Some frames, such as ‘economic growth’, are nearly ubiquitous. Narratives support and are sometimes actively supported by the stories, such as ‘technology neutrality’. Frames and narratives play a key role in creating stories of the future, and help create and maintain expectations and legitimacy of innovations. Frame analysis helps unpick and challenge unrealistic expectations that might leave us unprepared for the future.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: narratives; frames; electric vehicles; car clubs; future
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Research Centres and Groups: The Sussex Energy Group
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0801 Consumption. Demand
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE0199.9 Passenger traffic (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE5601 Automotive transportation
Depositing User: Noam Bergman
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2017 11:11
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 23:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68796

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Research Centre on Innovation and Energy DemandG1020RCUK-RESEARCH COUNCILS UKEP/K011790/1