Franklin &  Marshall College Library

ART 181/STS 181: Automobile Culture

A few questions...

What cars do you like and why?

When it comes to cars and SUV's, is bigger necessary better?

How many people are really driving their SUV's offroad?

What are some of the marketing ploys auto-makers use to influence your buying decision?

Can an auto-maker influence or create culture..... VW? Saturn?

Would you buy an electric car, or a hybrid if the price were reasonable, why or why not?

Would your buying decision be influenced by safety issues, or power, or color, or style?

Are there gender and age issues related to automobiles and driving?

What is "road rage"? Are the levels of rage increasing, or, are we just more aware?

How do cars define our identities, our freedom?

What do you think about people who can't affort a car, or have had their licenses revoked?

Will escalating gas prices effect our car purchases, our driving habits?

What happens to a city when an auto-manufacturer decides to close its factories? See "Roger & Me", below.

Print Resources

Advertising Age - periodical (1972-present)
on microfilm, current issues in Periodical Reading Room. Excellent source for current advertising trends and information

Business Week - periodical (1929-present) Bound
current issues in Periodical Reading Room. Information on current health and trends in business and industry.

Major marketing campaigns annual
Ref HF5837 .M35

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys - quarterly
Ref HC 28 .S7
Covers recent developments within an industry and highlights the performance of the major companies; some statistical data is provided,

Value Line - weekly
Ref Desk HG 4501 .V26
Arranged by industry groupings; includes an overview of the industry as well as individual company reports.

International Directory of Company Histories
Ref HD2721 .D36
Multi-volume set, detailing the history of many publically-owned companies.

American Decades
REF E 169.12
Capsulation of major events in 10-year spans. Check for other chronologies in same library shelf area.

Roger & Me
ATS 571 - video
Documentary about Flint, Michigan native Michael Moore and his efforts to meet with General Motors' president Roger Smith in order to persuade the executive to visit Flint, a city which is economically depressed due to the closure of a General Motors plant.

Online Resources

http://www.car-company.com
Do auto manufacturers advertise differently on the web? What sort of target market do you think they are after? Do you think a promotion such at the New Beetle, in the "vapor" color, has a chance of succeeding?

Edmunds
Reasonably objective auto reviews, new and used car prices, and bulletin boards for almost every make and model. Take a look at a bulletin board for cars you wish to investigate. What are people saying about your choice?

Adcritic.com
AMAZING website, top 10 commercials, all viewable. There may be a few auto commericials here, amongst all the beer commericials!

Lexis-Nexis
Full text newspapers and journals. Good source for auto reviews and present-day auto culture articles.

Readers' Guide Full Text
Indexes over 200 popular U.S. general interest periodicals. Covers 1983 to the present. Good index for Car & Driver type journals.

Business Full Text (Wilson)
Indexes more than 300 international English-language business magazines covering accounting, finance, management, and small business. Covers January 1986 to the present. Good index to track automotive business trends, successes and failures.

Library Catalog
Access to college book collection. Information about American popular culture can be found here.

Last updated: 9/18/00 ag, contact Andy Gulati for assistance, 291-4261