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Parkour, Activism, and Young People

  • Oli MouldEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 3)

Abstract

This chapter details how parkour can be used as a lens to renegotiate the debates about activism in young people. It argues that parkour is childlike, not because it is undertaken by children and young adults but because it demands a more youthful “state of mind” that inculcates a subversive politics of the urban. Such a view foregrounds emancipatory, “childlike” agency of the subculture of parkour, rather than the spectacular “youthful” corporeality that it has become synonymous with. This chapter argues that parkour offers a “way in” to urban activism, not through a direct engagement with political or anti-hegemonic activities or reactive protest against the forces of neoliberal capitalism but through a “softer politics” of rediscovering the urban environment around their own beliefs, expressions, and desires. By engaging in parkour, people are moving away from cultural provisioning of the modern global creative city that is too often prescribed and formulaic and instead participating in a process of urban citizenship that is allowing them to discover the urban and all the experiences it has to offer for themselves. It is this process that this chapter argues which characterizes the “childlike” characteristics of parkour.

Keywords

Parkour Activism Young people Subcultures 

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Copyright information

© © Crown Copyright 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEgamUK

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