Abstract

This paper explores the contradictory discourses on manners, safety and emotion that arose with mass motorization in Japan in the 1960s and which continue through the present. It documents the way in which multiple government entities end up working at cross-purposes in their attempts to cultivate safer drivers and slow the epidemic of traffic accidents. On the one hand, the discourse on driving manners suggests a widespread embrace of the Traffic Bureau's and other government agencies' concern with safety. On the other hand, the emphasis on manners may lead to angrier driving, which promotes accidents according to psychological studies of driving. The picture that emerges is one in which attempts at social control are complicated by the often unpredictable emotional reactions of subjects caught in a web of institutional and ideological processes. By exploring the relationship of emotion to driving school curricula and the discourse on manners, this article extends previous studies of self, social control, and social management in Japan.

You do not currently have access to this content.