‘Cycling is good’ but ‘cyclists are reckless’
Discourses of Mobility Justice and Discrimination
Keywords:climate crisis, identity, fossil-fuel lifestyles, climate inaction, auto mentality
Urban mobility choices and policies are not a common object of study for linguistics. These policies and choices actually generate forms of discrimination by creating reified identities of ‘drivers’ against ‘cyclists’ against ‘pedestrians’. Through the prism of ‘mobility justice’ this paper shows how detrimental discursive choices contribute to the normalisation of a mobility system which is highly discriminatory and a source of toxicity and danger to humanity. The discriminations imposed by the hegemonic system of automobility reinforce other forms of intersectional discrimination. By looking at journalistic texts that employ road-user identities to fuel narratives of conflict, this study highlights the need for linguists to contribute to language-focused investigations already being carried out from the perspectives of other disciplines such as Geography, Sociology or Transport Studies. It also shows how these investigations can provide answers to broader questions concerning climate inaction.
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