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Young parkour traceurs in Mexico City: A new way to meaning and identity in urban spaces


Islas, I., Varela, S.




Publication type

Artículo de revista




parkour; semiotics of culture; semiotics of sports; sociosemiotics;
urban cultural practices; virtual spaces


The practice of parkour in urban spaces by young people, especially those who call themselves traceurs ("plotters"), illustrates how identities are formed in an ephemeral way by reinterpreting spaces in the city-briefly and without leaving a trace. However, in a sort of paradox, these interventions are registered in the socio-digital spectrum, tokenistically anchoring and incorporating them into conversations and social interactions. This work aims to explain the practice of the sport called parkour as a socio-semiotic phenomenon. We have used some zones of Mexico City as a specific case for our approach. The foregoing leads to the conclusion that the meaning of parkour goes beyond its recreational role and places it as a relevant piece of identity for excluded urban social groups-even though these practices have been appropriated by marketing strategies. Our approach will use a cultural semiotics perspective, as well as direct observations and interviews as research techniques.


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