Parkour: Adventure, Risk, and Safety in the Urban Environment
Kidder, J. L.
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Parkour is a new sport based on athletically and artistically overcoming urban obstacles (e.g., climbing up and vaulting over walls). In this paper, I position parkour as a form of urban adventurism allowing for tests of individual character. This involves what I call rites of risk and rituals of symbolic safety. Together these rites and rituals allow individuals to seek out exciting and dangerous activities while couching their risk-taking in discourses and practices that affirm the value of the self. Thus, although parkour can be dangerous, practitioners use symbolic forms of safety to give their actions meaning and emphasize their ability to handle the risks involved.