Download Bikers: Culture, Politics & Power by Suzanne McDonald-Walker PDF

By Suzanne McDonald-Walker

From The Wild Ones to effortless Rider, the motorbike has infected the imaginations of the media and most of the people alike. Marlon Brando, wearing leather-based jacket, denims, and moody glare, turned a cultural icon summing up 'the street' in all its maverick glory. yet does the parable of the renegade bike owner, an outcast from mainstream society who takes to the line in pursuit of freedom, correlate with fact in any significant means? Who quite rides bikes and why? What are the executive issues of motorcyclists and the way are those represented and contested within the political sphere?This booklet, in keeping with vast fieldwork among bikers and the bikers' rights circulation, overturns the ingrained prejudice that equates bikers with deviancy and explodes the myths emphasizing the rebellious and dysfuntional features of cycling. in its place, the writer makes a speciality of what cycling capability to these concerned - the rewards, the hazards, the addictiveness, but in addition the stigma and assaults at the cycling way of life. in line with the detrimental imagery surrounding bikers and growing to be legislative threats from Europe, bikers' rights institutions advanced among the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Eighties within the united kingdom and Europe. the writer discusses the goals and achievements of those lobbies, and the way forward for motorcycling extra in most cases because it turns into stylish as a middle-aged, middle-class pursuit.

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Additional info for Bikers: Culture, Politics & Power

Sample text

So they were starting to change then. And there was – 15 – Bikers one lad who had a 500 Velocette, which was regarded as an extremely potent machine at the time, but by modern standards it would be regarded as somewhat gutless. And he gave me a lift home on the back of that, and I think I was sold on motorcycles after that. I was never allowed to have a motorcycle, at that time I was being brought-up by my grandmother, who was extremely hostile, and every time I mentioned motorcycles she would tell me horror stories about people having accidents and all that.

Because, of course, you’ve got to change the culture. When, in the ’20s, a motorcyclist was bound to be a gentleman or a solicitor or somebody like that, they were welcome anywhere. One possible argument for change is that the expansion of car ownership meant that motorcycles were no longer viewed as the prerogative of the privileged, and thus their elite image was undermined. The following quotation is from someone who started riding in the 1950s: [If you reflect] back about seventy years ago .

I mean, the media struck fear into the hearts of individuals. I can walk down the street and get the usual intimidation that I would do from a lot of people, for whatever reason. But if I walk down the street in my leathers, people cross the road. This invisibility, therefore, acts negatively against riders, and may only be counteracted by personal experience that contradicts it. Again, such an idea is supported by Goffman who argues that ‘the whole problem of managing stigma is influenced by the issue of whether or not the stigmatised person is known to us personally’ (1963:73).

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