The Rise of Uber and the [Re]construction of the North American Dream
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 17:26 by Tori Zenko
The road – while on the surface often perceived as merely a means of allowing individuals to move from one location to another, has during recent decades become deeply intertwined with both individual and mass narratives related to the pursuit of freedom. The freedom narrative began when the United States highway system, developed during the early 1960s and thematically charged by the Beat Generation’s road-trip literature, became imbued with new meaning and new freedom-facilitating potential. The road, an architectural feat once thought of largely as a means of providing mass mobilization, came to be understood as both the road to freedom, and the road as freedom. However, today we find ourselves experiencing a new road narrative, one that still speaks to freedom but that differs vastly from the road narratives of the 1960s. Today, as individuals experience the road through sharing-economy services such as Uber, a narrative shift has occurred whereby freedom on the road is no longer experienced individualistically and/or destructively but, instead, communally and constructively.