Contemporary urban skateboarding practices
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School of Business | Master's thesis
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AbstractSkateboarding has been theorized as a subculture to whom urban spaces has provided the origins of the sport as well as authentic place for their performances. By skateboarding on the streets practitioners have encountered opposition from the hegemonic culture due their creative use of the space which challenges the normative values and rhythms of urban space. The purpose of this study is to study skateboarders' place consumption, identity construction through physical performances and power relations with society in urban context revealing their lived experiences. The objective is to grasp on the everyday life of skateboarders to understand better how skateboarders see themselves in the world and experience the places they take over. This study's research approach is social constructivism and the methodology is Practice Theory. As a method semi-structured interviews were conducted. The aim of the chosen methodology is to provide thick descriptions of skateboarders' experiences from their everyday life. Previous literature defines urban skateboarding as resistant to the mainstream values by arguing that they want to ideologically distinct themselves from the mainstream society. This research studies urban skateboarding practices through practice theory so the focus is on the actual 'doings' (Reckwitz, 2002) suggesting that the subcultural view on urban skateboarders seems not to exemplify their day-to-day activities and identities. Instead of aiming their energy towards the architecture in order to break things and purposely behave inappropriately to show their presence this study shows that skateboarding practices are seeking to use urban space in agreeable way and so that they could live together with other groups in a conforming way rather than going against the normative values of the mainstream society.
skateboarding, urban space, practice theory, subculture, re-appropriation, urban politics