Developing A Model of Mobility Capital for An Ageing Population

Charles Musselwhite, Theresa Scott

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18 Citations (SciVal)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Driving a car meets older people’s needs, providing utility (getting from A to B), psychosocial (providing identity and roles and feelings of independence and normality) and aesthetic (mobility for its own sake) mobilities. Giving up driving is related to poorer health and wellbeing. This paper addresses how older people cope when they give up driving, using Bourdieu’s theory of capital as a way of categorising different barriers and enablers to managing without a car in a hypermobile society. Older people are most likely to mention barriers and enablers to mobility relating to infrastructure capital (technology, services, roads, pavements, finance and economics), followed by social capital (friends, family, neighbourhood and community). Cultural capital (norms, expectations, rules, laws) and individual capital (skills, abilities, resilience, adaptation and desire and willingness to change) are less important but still significantly contribute to older people’s mobility. Implications for policy and practice suggest that provision for older people beyond the car must explore capital across all four of the domains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3327
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Cultural capital
  • Giving up driving, driving cessation
  • Later life
  • Mobilities
  • Older people
  • Social capital
  • Transport
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Capital
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Transportation
  • Male
  • Aging/psychology
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving/psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological


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