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Urban Flow

Urban Flow Bike messengers are familiar figures in the downtown cores of major cities Tasked with delivering time sensitive materials within at most a few hours and sometimes in as little as fifteen minutes th

Bike messengers are familiar figures in the downtown cores of major cities Tasked with delivering time sensitive materials within, at most, a few hours and sometimes in as little as fifteen minutes these couriers ride in all types of weather, weave in and out of dense traffic, dodging or sometimes failing to dodge taxis and pedestrians alike in order to meet their cliBike messengers are familiar figures in the downtown cores of major cities Tasked with delivering time sensitive materials within, at most, a few hours and sometimes in as little as fifteen minutes these couriers ride in all types of weather, weave in and out of dense traffic, dodging or sometimes failing to dodge taxis and pedestrians alike in order to meet their clients tight deadlines Riding through midtown traffic at breakneck speeds is dangerous work, and most riders do it for very little pay and few benefits As the courier industry has felt the pressures of first fax machines, then e mails, and finally increased opportunities for electronic filing of legal paperwork, many of those who remain in the business are devoted to their job For these couriers, messengering is the foundation for an all encompassing lifestyle, an essential part of their identity In Urban Flow, Jeffrey L Kidder a sociologist who spent several years working as a bike messenger introduces readers to this fascinating subculture, exploring its appeal as well as its uncertainties and dangers.Through interviews with and observation of messengers at work and play, Kidder shows how many become acclimated to the fast paced, death defying nature of the job, often continuing to ride with the same sense of purpose off the clock In chaotic bike races called alleycats, messengers careen through the city in hopes of beating their peers to the f

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  1. Jeffrey L. Kidder says:
    Jeffrey L. Kidder Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Urban Flow book, this is one of the most wanted Jeffrey L. Kidder author readers around the world.

Comment 463 on “Urban Flow

  1. Simon says:
    Highly academic, but also highly engrossing Recommended to people who like bikes and sociology in equal measure A very theory heavy look at a seemingly simple subculture with fantastic results.

  2. Audrey says:
    Meh Some interesting anecdotes about messengering and lots of accessible philosophical theory, but the sociology seems scientifically unrigorous For example, in giving fairly concrete numbers re bike messenger populations in various cities, the author admits that since no formal census of bike couriers exists which really the numbers are based on his own estimates So basically, he pulled them out of his ass Kudos for being up front about it, but there must be a better way to approach data for so [...]

  3. Gretta says:
    Kidder expertly uses anthropological theory to dissect the complex, diverse, fascinating, and sometimes contradictory world of urban bike messengers As a native anthropologist and participatory observer kidder has a great deal of respect for the people he represents Though he does manage to address outside perspectives it s very clear that he loves the profession, and the reader occasionally has questions which don t occur to him as an imbedded researcher Still, well thought out and fun to read. [...]

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