Academic Absurdity of the Week: Keep On Truckin’

The idea of a sociologist hanging out and studying the culture of a truck stop cries out for sitcom treatment, or a Saturday Night Live sketch. Or perhaps a scholarly article in the Journal of Cultural Geography:

Home away from home: meanings of the American truck stop

Stephanie Kozak, University of Kansas


This paper explores the place attachments of long-haul truck drivers to the truck stop. The feelings and ideas truckers have about truck stops are based upon the function these businesses play in the truckers’ mobile lifestyle and the social interactions that are performed within those spaces. Drivers’ relationships to these stops also illustrate that modernity and the prevalence of homogenized places do not result in placelessness because feelings and perceptions about these places are based upon the role these businesses play in the everyday tasks of long-haul drivers.

Only one thing to do: cue Little Feat, but (with apologies to Lowell George) change the lyrics slightly to make the tune “Truck Stop Sociologist.”

His tail-lights flickered as he pulled up to the truck stop
The same old crowd was hanging out again tonite
He said fill up my tank while I go check my load
It feels like it’s shifting all around

He was the kind of man
Do all he could
Above all he had integrity
But he was so young
And on a ten city run
In love with a truck stop . . . sociologist

As he went inside hew was merrily greeted
By the girl with who he was in love
She held out a glass and said have another
This is the last time we can meet
With her hair piled up high and a look in her eye
That would turn any good man’s blood to wine
All his eyes could see, all his eyes could see
Was the stares from all those around him

He ran out to the lot and climbed into his rig
And drove off without tightening down
It was a terrible thing
To see what remained of the rig that poor danny was in
But he was so young
On a ten city run
In love with a truck stop. . . sociologist

But he was so young
On a ten city run
In love with a truck stop . . . sociologist.


Books to read from Power Line