“It’s the Job that I Love”: Bike Messengers and Edgework
Article First Online: 26 May 2006
Bike messengers work in a dirty and dangerous occupation with low pay and no benefits. At the same time, many messengers consider their occupation to be their primary source of identity. In contrast to “dirty work” studies, which focus on organizational structures and workgroup ideologies, this paper explores how the creativity and spontaneity of courier labor allows messengers to become emotionally attached to their job. Bike messengering brings the thrill-seeking of leisure pursuits into the workplace, which creates an authentic self intimately tied to the occupation—an exceedingly difficult feat in an increasingly rationalized system of labor.
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