Parkour, Masculinity, and the City

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Jeffrey L. Kidder Northern Illinois University

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Parkour is a new, and increasingly popular, sport in which individuals athletically and artistically negotiate obstacles found in the urban environment. In this article, I position parkour as a performance of masculinity involving spatial appropriation. Through ethnographic data I show how young men involved in the sport use the city (both the built environment and the people within it) as a structural resource for the construction and maintenance of gender identities. The focus of my research highlights the performance of gender as a spatialized process.

Kidder is with the Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

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