The Lure of Delivery
This book examines why and how there is a lure in delivering packages by studying the bike messengers' subculture. More specifically, it considers why bike messengers find meaning in a seemingly menial occupation. Drawing on active participation, informal discussions, and formal interviews supplemented with historical and contemporary documentation, the book explains how a low-end service job such as messengering can generate authentic action and a strong sense of identity. It analyzes the messenger lifestyle through emotions and space and discusses what it calls the affective appropriation of space beyond which there is no messenger subculture. Using a practice-based semiotic analysis of messenger style, the book argues that the lure in delivering packages comes from emotions generated in practice, that the emotional involvement required in making deliveries is what makes urban cycling fun. It contends that there is a remarkable correlation between affective spatial appropriation and the style of bike couriers.
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