Macquarie University
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Bicycle-body-city: experiences of urban cycling in Copenhagen

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posted on 2022-03-28, 09:36 authored by Lucinda Libershal Casbolt
This paper examines experiences of urban cycling within Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Copenhagen is often considered to be one of the world's 'cycling capitals', with about 50% of the city's commuters choosing the bicycle every day. Bicycle use has seen a 'renaissance' in cities around the world during the past decade, yet the quantity of anthropological investigations into the bicycle remains low. This ethnography draws upon three and a half months of participant observation fieldwork in Copenhagen to ivestigate individuals' experiences cycling in the self-styled ' City of Cyclists'. What is it like to cycle in a city that is actively restructuring its built environment in order to encourage cycling? In order to address these questions, this research incorporates the phenomenological framework developed in particular by Merleau-Ponty (1945) to prioritise corporeal-sensual experiences of cycling, as well as the horizons that inform these experiences. This approach enables an examination of experiences of urban cycling in Copenhagen in a way that keeps focus on the interplay between the bicycle, body and city in the moment of cycling.


Table of Contents

Beginnings -- Part 1. The bicycle-body -- Part 2. The city -- Conclusion : 'det cykler derudaf'.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 84-89

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Christopher Houston


Copyright Lucinda Libershal Casbolt 2015. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (91 pages) colour illustrations

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