Outcast but cast out. The effects of marginalisation on the British motorcycling community

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Questions surrounding the relationship between culture and politics have acquired a heightened saliency with the rise of the new social movements from the 1960s. The extent to which the two can be separated within modern forms of political engagement or the nature of the interplay between them have been extensively debated for some time. However, it may be argued that there is no sharp distinction, no point at which we may say that “this is cultural” or that “this is political.” Rather, we can acknowledge that there is always politics in culture and culture in politics and move on to the more interesting question of how these inform specific areas of concern. This paper discusses the British motorcycling community and how the stigmatisation of British bikers from the 1950s has affected the habitus of riders in the UK. The paper explores how the process of marginalisation, and bikers’ reactions to this, laid crucial foundations which were to carry ramifications for political engagement when legislative threats began to confront the biking community from the late 1980s. Further, it examines how developments within the biking community also informed the ability of British bikers to fight back against proposed restrictions
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Motorcycle Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


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