Accepted Paper:

Cycling as fun in Norway and Sweden  


Anders Gustavsson (University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

My paper regard the question how cycling has been experienced by cyclists as fun in Norway and Sweden from the past till today. How have the motives changed over time, according to age, gender, season, social status, economy, and way of life?

Paper long abstract:

My paper regard the question how cycling has been experienced by cyclists for pleasure in Norway and in Sweden from the past till today. The sense of cycling is in focus. Which are the expressions for the pleasure? Relevant research concepts are recreation, freedom, independence, tourism, exercise, health (physical and psychical), nature, ground, environment, holiday, work/leisure, safety, status, and economy. The relevance of these concepts may change over time. I am interested in cultural processes. Analytical aspects are age, gender, class, continuity and change, way of life, and self-esteem. Which conditions during different times may increase and decrease the pleasure respectively? Are there opposites of the pleasure and how are they perceived by the cyclists? How can such opposites be restricted during different times, for example with helmets and ice prods in recent times? My material is to be found in Norwegian and Swedish folklore archives. New narrative material will be collected through appeals from the archives in Gothenburg and Oslo during the year 2013. I will be able to compare the contents of narratives about senses and feelings from the two neighbour countries. Is it possible to discern national differences and which are the causes behind them? My special interest for this topic depends on my interest for cycling and personal experiences of pleasure. One of my earlier research fields has concerned tourism in Norway and Sweden. I have met the phenomenon bicycling-tourism but not earlier had the possibility to study it in a deeper sense.

Panel P52
Cycling: past, present and future