Ethnologie du quotidien des "passionnés de moto" : construction d'un être au monde par l'investissement d'une machine

Abstract : The argument developed in this PhD thesis is that considering the use of motorbikes as a symbol for risk taking reduces the meaning of what bikers call « passion ». It is therefore suggested to take a different view and - instead of studying extreme aspects - take interest in the bikers' daily routine by means of long-term participating observation. From the taking of the motorcycling license to regular bike riding, attention is focused on the banality and diversity of the life of those who call themselves « motorbike enthusiasts ». An ethnology of bikers, true to their lives, is thus being sketched. Thanks to this approach, it has been possible to collect utterances and observe practices that go beyond the sole issue of risk, through the biker's desire of belonging to a specific world. The involvement of the machine - interface between men and world - is coupled with a universe the meaning of which is little known. It is made of know-how, bodily techniques and « bikers' values » that give sense to the statements and actions of the encountered bikers. To give sense here means both articulating a possible world organization and questioning it. Beyond the stereotyped image of bikers, their use of a machine is a way to state and reorganize fundamental anthropological oppositions that allow interaction with our environment. By their practice and the motivations to their actions, bikers reinterpret the fundaments of man/woman, savage/servant, risk/security and life/death relations. Acting in this universe that temporarily features beings belonging to an alternative world, they express what in their eyes is an accomplished Human being.
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François Oudin. Ethnologie du quotidien des "passionnés de moto" : construction d'un être au monde par l'investissement d'une machine. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009METZ015L⟩. ⟨tel-01752628⟩

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