UC San Diego
Appropriating the city: space, theory, and bike messengers
- Author(s): Kidder, Jeffrey L.
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-008-9079-8
Over the last 30 years, social theorists have increasingly emphasized the importance of space. However, in empirical research, the dialectical relationship between social interaction and the physical environment is still a largely neglected issue. Using the theory of structuration, I provide a concrete example of why and how space matters in the cultural analysis of an urban social world. I argue that bike messengers—individuals who deliver time-sensitive materials in downtown cores of major cities—cannot be understood outside an analysis of space. Specifically, I connect the cultural significance of messenger practices to the emplacement of those practices inside the urban environment.