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Crossing the symbolic boundaries: parkour, gender and urban spaces in Genoa


Stagi, L.



Modern Italy

Publication type

Artículo de revista




parkour, gender, symbolic boundaries


This paper shows how girls and women who practise parkour cross the gendered divisions of space, sport and other symbolic territories that are brought into play by so-called risk-taking sports, and how it may therefore be considered a subversive action. The strategies of negotiation produced by such symbolic crossings are examined via the concepts of reproductive and resistant agency and of gender manoeuvring. In particular the concept of gender manoeuvring will be used to examine the mechanisms of inter- and intra-gender inclusion and exclusion which, within subcultures, pass through a recognition of authenticity. Indeed, in the culture of parkour the question of authenticity emerges when media dissemination produces a split into two distinct practices: art du déplacement and freerunning. The traceuses cross this boundary because of their different origin (they are from the streets as opposed to the gym), thereby building within their gender further discourses on authenticity.


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