The Circus is in Town: Exploring Consumption, Mobility, and Corporate Capitalism in the World of Formula 1 Motor Racing

Parker, Ken W. (2003) The Circus is in Town: Exploring Consumption, Mobility, and Corporate Capitalism in the World of Formula 1 Motor Racing. In Bradley, Rebecca, Lyddon, Jeff, & Buys, Laurie (Eds.) Social Change in the 21st Century, 21 November 2003, QUT, Brisbane.


Contemporary society is marked by speed. Within these alleged postmodern times many people live in a hyper-world of instant lifestyles, fast food, and snap decisions. Information and image are transferred at terminal velocities as symbolic capitalism transfers funds, futures, and options as well as advertising iconography over fibre optic cable or satellite communication systems. Identity and mobility have become intrinsically linked as advertising agencies exploit visions of global, contemporary nomadic travellers armed with Italian-designer business suits, palm pilots, mobile phones, and exotic aftershave. It is in this mobile and image-intense world that the elite motor sport known as Formula One (F1) resides. Formula One exists as a contradictory, paradoxical, and multifaceted entity. It is a hybrid of sport and business in which the most technologically advanced motor vehicles on the planet act as speeding billboards for international oil, telecommunications, or tobacco corporations. It is global, brash, noisy, consuming, polluting, chauvinistic, intense, and corporatised, it is, in effect, a mirror of many aspects of contemporary Western society. The sins of Western decadence broadcast to a near-global audience are reflected in Formula One.

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ID Code: 125
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Formula one, Sociology, Postmodernism, Baudrillard, Bahktin, Langman
ISBN: 0646431056
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Recreation Leisure and Tourism Geography (160402)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Ken W. Parker
Deposited On: 07 Dec 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:44

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