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This June 29th Wichita Eagle article, and cited dissertation largely captures key elements in the Jeep Culture - much of which carries over to to the WF community...

Agree or not, the dissertation is a stimulating "thought piece" beyond discussing wrenching on Jeeps (<--- and nothing wrong with that!)...

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For Jeeples club, it’s not just a Jeep, it’s a lifestyle

By Supriya Sridhar
June 29, 2017 7:08 PM

Jeeples club more like a family | The Wichita Eagle

Excerpt: "Jeep people"

Michael Rosenbaum, a student at the University of Indiana in 2007 who was pursuing a doctorate, spent three years studying Jeep communities, analyzing the sense of identity associated with the vehicle.

In his paper “The Jeep People,” Rosenbaum writes about Jeeps as an “identity anchor,” a cultural tool representative of an authentic self that can help ground an identity. Rosenbaum calls it a “primary source of social identity, friendship, and social support.”

Shelly Gatton, 47, said she had wanted to be part of Jeeples for a long time. Her cousin was a member, and after making T-shirts and custom decals for the group, she finally decided to buy a Jeep.

“It’s really kind of saved my life,” Gatton said. “It’s been kind of like a midlife crisis, but at the same time, I feel like I’m 10 years younger.”

The sense of community is what drew Gatton to the group. Much like the biker community, Jeep people help one another, she said. When a member’s Jeep breaks down, other club members have helped immediately, Gatton said.

“It’s a culture,” Gatton said “It’s amazing to see that kind of goodness in the world today, because there’s not that much of it.”

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From the dissertation preview:

"Because Jeepers’ interactions with each other are built from selves that they view as authentic, trust and commitment take root quickly. Off-road clubs have become a primary source of social identity, friendship, and social support for my participants."

"…a fledgling social movement: as political and economic interests threaten to limit Jeepers’ access to public and private lands, my participants work to increase membership and involvement in the formal associations that represent their lifestyle interests in the political arena."

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[251 page dissertation abstract here ProQuest Document View - The Jeep people: Identity, consumption, and culture in a lifestyle community

a 24 page preview is here The Jeep people: Identity, consumption, and culture in a lifestyle community - ProQuest ]

The Jeep people: Identity, consumption, and culture in a lifestyle community

by Rosenbaum, Michael S., Ph.D., INDIANA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 251 pages; 3278463

Abstract:

This dissertation is a multi-methodological investigation of a lifestyle community and its members' relationships to material culture, to each other, and to the wider institutional context of contemporary society. I conducted ethnographic research for three years as a participant-observer in the Indiana Four-Wheel Drive Association and its member clubs. I also conducted formal interviews and distributed a survey to members of the Association. Additionally, I analyzed relevant print media and internet discussion forums, and collected visual data in the form of photographs of my participants, their vehicles, and the events I attended.

The first empirical chapter analyzes my participants' relationship to material culture. I focus on the process of "building," which renders a mass-produced commodity an "identity anchor:" a cultural tool which is representative of—and constitutive of—an authentic self, one that can be wielded in the grounding of identity.

The second empirical chapter analyzes my participants' relationships with each other. Because Jeepers' interactions with each other are built from selves that they view as authentic, trust and commitment take root quickly. Off-road clubs have become a primary source of social identity, friendship, and social support for my participants.

The third and fourth empirical chapters analyze the community's interactions with the wider social, political, and economic environment. I analyze the community as a fledgling social movement: as political and economic interests threaten to limit Jeepers' access to public and private lands, my participants work to increase membership and involvement in the formal associations that represent their lifestyle interests in the political arena. I also analyze the relationship between the producers and consumers of the Jeep brand.

As "true believers," my participants provide images of authenticity that strengthen the brand's identity capital in the market. However, as market rationality undermines the brand's commitment to a design heritage that favored simple technology, ease of maintenance and modification, and rugged utilitarianism, the community's cultural boundaries increasingly reflect Jeepers' purposeful appropriation of symbolic goods, rather than the brand image marketed by DaimlerChrysler.

In the concluding chapter, I discuss the implications of my findings for theories of identity and community in a consumer society.



 

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Yep, what Bigdawg2261 said. I like cycling and we have the same thing there. Our group all wear helmets, know the call-out terms when cars are behind or in front of us, know how to ride a few inches from each other's tires going 20mph (drafting), try not to drop anyone if they slow down a bit (they might be the coffee buyer), and yes, we take the ribbing and get made fun of because we all wear a kit (aka, Lycra, spandex). Common interests.
 

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this was written in 2007 just as the JK was coming out, which of course took jeep ownership too a whole new level and social interconnetion.. wonder how that would impact the paper.
 

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this was written in 2007 just as the JK was coming out, which of course took jeep ownership too a whole new level and social interconnetion.. wonder how that would impact the paper.

If by taking to a whole new level you mean destroying it then i agree. I make a point not to wave at JK's but i gave a sympathy wave to one last weekend that was lifted and and a bunch of crap bolted to it. And of course I got no wave, it looked like a college kid driving it his parents probably bought it for him. The jeep was black and had a good stance to it and i think it had one of the stupid plastic bolt on foreheads they sell for them.

Just a foreheads up to the real jeep owners, if you see a JK like this that someone glued one of these hideous forehead things to don't even bother acknowledging it's existence.



And it gets worse.... I have yet to encounter one of these in real life and hope i never do but these people are out there

 
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If by taking to a whole new level you mean destroying it then i agree. I make a point not to wave at JK's but i gave a sympathy wave to one last weekend that was lifted and and a bunch of crap bolted to it. And of course I got no wave, it looked like a college kid driving it his parents probably bought it for him. The jeep was black and had a good stance to it and i think it had one of the stupid plastic bolt on foreheads they sell for them. ...
I heard the same thing when the TJ came out , Cj guys said same thing about YJ etc.. Listen you can think what you want.. but the JK good or bad opened up the idea of jeep ownership and that lifestyle to many people who would not have other wise considered it. Over the last 10 years there has been a upswing in off road events, which I think one could argue in part is related to JK sales. sure we have seen some OHV area's close too, so we still have work to do, but over all I welcome the JK, to the fold.
 

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The YJ's hate was deserved when it came out. AMC turned the YJ into a turd with it's suspension and ba10 trans thankfully Jeep corrected some of the problems and the suspension was easy enough to fix. My father had a CJ7 when i was growing up and i fell in love with it. I would see the newer YJ's and thought they were really cool with the islander decals i wanted one really bad. It wasn't until i got older and started started subscribing to 4wheel drive and offroad that i became aware of the YJ hate.

I began looking for a CJ7 when i was 14 mowing yards and delivering papers for money to buy one. I saved up $3,000 and every CJ7 i went to look at was severally rusted out. So i had to save a few more years and i found a super clean low mileage 94 YJ for $9,995 and bought it when i was 16. I don't remember anyone hating the TJ when it came out there was really nothing to hate. The suspension was "better" and the rest was basically a YJ with a car like dash.

I have hated the JK since it came out the only redeeming quality it has are the Dana 48's the rest of it belongs in a garbage can.
 

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I'm 63 and never owned a Jeep before now. Proud owner of 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited, NO power option. Luv'n it so far. To each their own.
 

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this was written in 2007 just as the JK was coming out, which of course took jeep ownership too a whole new level and social interconnetion.. wonder how that would impact the paper.

If by taking to a whole new level you mean destroying it then i agree. I make a point not to wave at JK's but i gave a sympathy wave to one last weekend that was lifted and and a bunch of crap bolted to it. And of course I got no wave, it looked like a college kid driving it his parents probably bought it for him. The jeep was black and had a good stance to it and i think it had one of the stupid plastic bolt on foreheads they sell for them.

Just a foreheads up to the real jeep owners, if you see a JK like this that someone glued one of these hideous forehead things to don't even bother acknowledging it's existence.



And it gets worse.... I have yet to encounter one of these in real life and hope i never do but these people are out there

Your trolling skills are impressive. Better than Dan S, but not as good as beach rat Joe. I rate you 6.5.
 

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Your trolling skills are impressive. Better than Dan S, but not as good as beach rat Joe. I rate you 6.5.

Cool story bro, But i only rate your JK a 1/4. You need to do the swollen forehead mod to make it look like it lost an MMA fight to a DJ-3A Surrey Gala

 

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Your trolling skills are impressive. Better than Dan S, but not as good as beach rat Joe. I rate you 6.5.

Cool story bro, But i only rate your JK a 1/4. You need to do the swollen forehead mod to make it look like it lost an MMA fight to a DJ-3A Surrey Gala

Meh. Over the top. 6.25

Upon reflection, that was a pretty good UFC reference, and I dislike those grills as well. Revised to 7. Beachrat was an 11 though, so...
 

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In the city I live in you see JKs everywhere. If you eliminated all JKs you would hardly ever see any Jeep at all. Why? Because the old ones are rusted out messes in these parts. I can't even tell you the last time I saw a CJ on the road.
 

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I make a point not to wave at JK's but i gave a sympathy wave to one last weekend that was lifted and and a bunch of crap bolted to it. And of course I got no wave, it looked like a college kid driving it his parents probably bought it for him. The jeep was black and had a good stance to it and i think it had one of the stupid plastic bolt on foreheads they sell for them.
Cool story brah.

JK's suck, That's why god invented CJ's, YJ's, TJ's & LJ's
 

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I have hated the JK since it came out the only redeeming quality it has are the Dana 48's the rest of it belongs in a garbage can.
How much better is the Dana 48 over the Dana 44? :confused: I might upgrade my D44's in my TJ to the D48's.
 

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How much better is the Dana 48 over the Dana 44? :confused: I might upgrade my D44's in my TJ to the D48's.
You won't be able to. The OEM JK Dana 48 cannot be retrofitted, it was built solely for the lesser non-wave returning JK/U. Available from the factory only as a direct replacement for an originally equipped special edition JK.

Though the D48 is the only redeeming quality on an otherwise "destroyed" jeep model, IMO the mall crawl benefits are unmatched thus making the JK/U acceptable to the arrogant/ignorant un-waving-butt-hurting crowd
 

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If by taking to a whole new level you mean destroying it then i agree. I make a point not to wave at JK's but i gave a sympathy wave to one last weekend that was lifted and and a bunch of crap bolted to it. And of course I got no wave, it looked like a college kid driving it his parents probably bought it for him. The jeep was black and had a good stance to it and i think it had one of the stupid plastic bolt on foreheads they sell for them.

Just a foreheads up to the real jeep owners, if you see a JK like this that someone glued one of these hideous forehead things to don't even bother acknowledging it's existence.

And it gets worse.... I have yet to encounter one of these in real life and hope i never do but these people are out there
Why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel...
 

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You won't be able to. The OEM JK Dana 48 cannot be retrofitted, it was built solely for the lesser non-wave returning JK/U. Available from the factory only as a direct replacement for an originally equipped special edition JK. Though the D48 is the only redeeming quality on an otherwise "destroyed" jeep model, IMO the mall crawl benefits are unmatched thus making the JK/U acceptable to the arrogant/ignorant un-waving-butt-hurting crowd
Ok, thanks for the clarification! :thumb:
 

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In the car business we say "There's an ass for every seat".
Someone must like JK/JKU because they sell a bunch of them. If no one bought any MOPAR wouldn't make any.

Why diss mall crawlers? Do you diss Escalades? Explorers? Hondas? (Well, it's OK do diss a Honda with a fart can).

If you don't like something, simply don't buy it.

I can afford an Escalade or a 2018 Wrangler if I choose to. I made my choice. I drive a 30 year old YJ. To me, it's more satisfying on so many levels than a JK or whatever else may come along.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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