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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited