Biketivism and technology: Historical reflections and appropriations

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20 Scopus citations


In Western society bicycling is commonly perceived as either a sport, a form of leisure, an activity for children, or at best, a utilitarian transportation technology. In this paper, I contest these assumptions by discussing ways in which both bicycling and bicycle technologies are politicized as a response to the cultural, social and political norms of Western society. Through historical examples that include 19th century Socialists, 'first wave feminists, and 1960's Dutch Anarchists, I provide a theoretical context in which one can understand how present day activists appropriate the bicycle through a dialectic of action and communication. In short, I demonstrate how a seemingly neutral technology (the bicycle) and an everyday activity (bicycling can be utilized as tools for dissent, protest, and cultural critique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-417
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Epistemology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


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