HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines

Amy Best Book Report, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 939

Essay

California culture has been at the forefront of the new youth culture in America.  This is due to the rise of Silicon Valley and the production of technologies that have transformed consumer capitalism, consumer culture and identity formation. In the book, “Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars” Amy L. Best explores the youth culture of San Jose, California that has identified its self with its cars.  Beefed up muscle cars and shiny Honda race cars are their identity in this new youth culture. San Jose was chosen by Best to be studied because it represents a global city, with mixed ethnicities, a changing class structure, and the intensification of youth policing.

Using her expertise as a sociologist, Best conducted 5 years of file work including compiling interviews and creating focus groups to understand this new culture.  Members of the sub culture study were those who associate themselves with their cars. Not just any cars, but modified cars that are fast, shiny, and stand out. Car culture youths associate freedom and individuality with their cars, which are their pride and joy.  In order to understand any culture, it is important for a researcher to immerse themselves in the scene. This Best did, getting to know personally the hopes, fears, and dreams of her subjects.

Amy Best worked with assistants from San Jose State University to amass more than 40 individual interviews with over 50 focus group participants between the ages of 15 and 20. Her book presents ethnographic portraits that give the reader a sense or the environment of these young people.  For example, on hot summer nights San Jose youth will converge on the cruising strip of Santa Clara Street is an image will allow readers to understand what these kids are up to and what their nights are like.

Best’s book contributes to our understanding of this new subculture that has emerged in the form of a car culture. She takes into account the environment of the kids, their relationships with each other, their peers and their families. Driving for some means freedom, but some of those interviewed got less freedom from learning to drive.  San Jose, like many cities in the U.S., has little public transportation.  Living in a suburb means that you have to drive everywhere, from school, to work, and to the store. Children become bound to their families when they learn to drive, caring for the everyday needs of family members.  This can be harsh for a young teen that has a taste of freedom and wants to drive for themselves.  Thus, the night car culture emerges.  When the family is asleep, the youth can come out and play.  Their association with their cars becomes even more complicated with all of the car modifications they must have. The cost of keeping a race car is outrageous for most people, let alone teenagers who work service jobs at which they are already severely underpaid.  In addition, since all their money goes to their cars, there is little left over for anything else, much less rent at a house.  Most of these kids then are even more bound to their families, as they must, out of necessity, share a roof with them.  Best answers the question as to why these kids would want to work so hard to spend so much money on their car. The car represents freedom, and that is what these kids are searching for – freedom from society, judgment, cultural expectations, and family expectations.

Best reveals the dynamic forces that govern the behaviors of these rebel youths.   She accomplished her mission by attending auto shows and cruising to many hot spots of the kids. The rich portrait that is revealed is the role that the cars play in the lives of the young Americans, and the complex roles and influences that are held within the culture.

As with any book that explores a culture, this book exposes these kids not as hard core violent criminals, but as kids struggling to survive just like everyone else. They have hopes and dreams and families. They just have developed a unique outlet for their creativity through their cars.  Often, these kids are misjudged by police and peers as gang members. This is not true, and these kids would be the first to tell you. This book helps to dispel some of the negative views that many may hold of the car subculture. There are many stereotypes about these kids, such as the gang image, that are not necessarily a part of the subculture.  Best helps to bring to light the true nature of the subculture.

In this book the author clearly takes the readers to the fast and inside lane to show how the youth are using cars as an expression of the culture in the modern America. Best reveals the true reasons behind the member’s obsession with the scene.  How for some it is about pleasure and personal freedom. For others, it is about solidarity among races in the streets and the power that is attributed to masculinity and rebelliousness that is attached to the scene through the cars. The cars are the tools for the trade and are the identity for these forums which take places in the wee hours of the night. The cars are the representation of the ultimate dominance for the youth, who yearn for recognition with their slick, customized and fast car. What started as an American trend has turned world-wide, as youths across the world embrace the car culture.

Reference

Best, Amy. Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars. New York: New York University Press. 2006.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

The B Pixel Company Performance, Essay Example

The B Pixel Company had been able to attain and investor expectation score of sixty in Year 7. The best in the industry score for [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1215

Essay

Obama Taxes and Control of Our Lives, Essay Example

Introduction             The Tea Party movement which began in 2009 arose out of concern from a great many American people that government spending, and the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 4886

Essay

The Apprentice, Essay Example

In their article, “Workplace Communication: What “The Apprentice” Teaches About Communication Skills”, authors Kateine Kinnick and Sabrena Parton offer a detailed content analysis of all [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 990

Essay

The Façade of Beauty, Essay Example

The Façade of Beauty in the Ibsen’s Doll’s House In Henrik Ibsen’s brilliant domestic drama, A Doll’s House, it is obvious from the very first [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1991

Essay

The Eiffel Tower, Essay Example

Understanding the Power of Words through Imagery How much does one work say about a city? Eiffel Tower, Paris’ most celebrated landmarks has served a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1513

Essay

Power of Language, Essay Example

Khalifa Tower The social text of the Burj Khalifa as known as the Khalifa Towers is social statements of a wealthy climate located in the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1212

Essay

The B Pixel Company Performance, Essay Example

The B Pixel Company had been able to attain and investor expectation score of sixty in Year 7. The best in the industry score for [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1215

Essay

Obama Taxes and Control of Our Lives, Essay Example

Introduction             The Tea Party movement which began in 2009 arose out of concern from a great many American people that government spending, and the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 4886

Essay

The Apprentice, Essay Example

In their article, “Workplace Communication: What “The Apprentice” Teaches About Communication Skills”, authors Kateine Kinnick and Sabrena Parton offer a detailed content analysis of all [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 990

Essay

The Façade of Beauty, Essay Example

The Façade of Beauty in the Ibsen’s Doll’s House In Henrik Ibsen’s brilliant domestic drama, A Doll’s House, it is obvious from the very first [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1991

Essay

The Eiffel Tower, Essay Example

Understanding the Power of Words through Imagery How much does one work say about a city? Eiffel Tower, Paris’ most celebrated landmarks has served a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1513

Essay

Power of Language, Essay Example

Khalifa Tower The social text of the Burj Khalifa as known as the Khalifa Towers is social statements of a wealthy climate located in the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1212

Essay