Motorcycling in 1980s Athens

Popularization, Representational Politics, and Social Identities

in Volume 6 (2016): Issue 3 (Dec 2016)
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Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s the number of motorcycles circulating in Athens almost quadrupled. Th is article examines the spread of motorcycling during the 1980s as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon. By examining representations of motorcycling as a deviant lifestyle, the article focuses on the strategies used to stigmatize bikers. Moreover, it describes the popularization of motorcycling and explores how public anxiety about it led to the emergence of new associations such as the motorcycle clubs. Finally, it argues that motorcycling represented a male lifestyle not completely inaccessible to women, a development that testifies to greater flexibility regarding contemporary gender norms and preferences.