My work focuses on the relationship between women and cars in a variety of contexts. This includes women’s participation in various car cultures traditionally associated with masculinity and the male driver, such as chick cars, muscle cars, pickup trucks, jeeps, and motorsports. My goal in these primarily ethnographic projects is to examine how women negotiate membership in these historically masculine fraternities, ascribe new meanings to cars based on their personal and automotive experiences, and through ownership of a vehicle historically and culturally marked as masculine, disrupt common perceptions of the woman driver.
My work also examines the representation of women and cars in popular culture, which includes investigations of film, advertising, websites, girls’ toys, and rock ‘n roll. In these projects I consider how the automobile can serve as a source of female identity, autonomy, escape, activism, and empowerment.