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Parkour and the City By Jeffrey L. Kidder

Parkour and the City by Jeffrey L. Kidder

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Parkour and the City Summary

Parkour and the City: Risk, Masculinity, and Meaning in a Postmodern Sport by Jeffrey L. Kidder

In the increasingly popular sport of parkour, athletes run, jump, climb, flip, and vault through city streetscapes, resembling urban gymnasts to passersby and awestruck spectators. In Parkour and the City, cultural sociologist Jeffrey L. Kidder examines the ways in which this sport involves a creative appropriation of urban spaces as well as a method of everyday risk-taking by a youth culture that valorizes individuals who successfully manage danger.

Parkour's modern development has been tied closely to the growth of the internet. The sport is inevitably a YouTube phenomenon, making it exemplary of new forms of globalized communication. Parkour's dangerous stunts resonate, too, Kidder contends, with a neoliberal ideology that is ambivalent about risk. Moreover, as a male-dominated sport, parkour, with its glorification of strength and daring, reflects contemporary Western notions of masculinity. At the same time, Kidder writes, most athletes (known as traceurs or freerunners) reject a daredevil label, preferring a deliberate, reasoned hedging of bets with their own safety-rather than a pushing the edge ethos normally associated with extreme sports.

Parkour and the City Reviews

Kidder's descriptive and engaging text touches deftly on a number of timely and relevant areas of interest for scholars in many fields and many places.-International Review for the Sociology of Sport

About Jeffrey L. Kidder

Jeffrey L. Kidder is an assistant professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He is the author of Urban Flow: Bike Messengers and the City.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Thinking Sociologically about Parkour
  • 1. Developing the Discipline and Creating a Sport
  • 2. New Prisms of the Possible
  • 3. Young Men in the City
  • 4. Hedging Their Bets
  • Conclusions: Appropriating the City
  • Appendix A: Brief Note on Data and Method
  • Appendix B: On the Parkour Terminology Used in This Book
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Additional information

Parkour and the City: Risk, Masculinity, and Meaning in a Postmodern Sport by Jeffrey L. Kidder
Rutgers University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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