Bicycles as Objects: Identity, Attachment, and Membership Categorization Devices

  • Author / Creator
    Coleman, Karly A.
  • This study aligns the concepts of identity and attachment with the material object of the bicycle. Through analyzing interviews to consider how people speak about their bicycles, I locate the bicycle as a significant ‘experiential object’ that can be relevant over a person’s life course. Although this study is located in the field of material culture studies, I draw on work from other fields to consider a range of issues concerning how people experience their bicycles Twenty-eight self-identified frequent cyclists were interviewed for this project. The interviews were coded and analyzed through approaches associated with forms of discourse analysis, including membership categorization analysis. Underpinning this study are the concepts of autonomy, competence, and relatedness and culturally constituted meaning, in terms of how these concepts relate to peoples’ experiences of their bicycles. As well, this study illuminates how, since a bicycle is one of the few things from childhood that is still potentially used in much the same way in adulthood, the experiential aspect may be a powerful generator of memory, emotion, and attachment.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Material Culture
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • MacQueen, Rachel (Human Ecology)
    • Greer, Joan (Art and Design)