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The ins and outs of skateboarding and transgression in public space in Newcastle, Australia

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This study examines skateboarding as a transgressive activity in different inner Newcastle public spaces, highlighting the way certain places are constructed, and the values and meanings attached to them. Skateboarding has been sanctioned in some places, but is considered to be inappropriate in others, resulting in the implementation of skating restrictions in specific areas. Transgressive conduct is different from the norm and appears to be 'out of place'. However, labels of 'in' and 'out' of place are too simplistic, because transgression is more nuanced and can simultaneously operate at multiple scales. Some skateboarding activities and locations are seen as more legitimate than others, and so a skater can be both 'in place' and 'out of place' at the same time. Problems and inconsistencies in the regulation of public space are revealed, because although skateboarding may be illegal in some places, the regulations are blunted by limited enforcement, justified by distinctions between 'good' and 'bad' skateboarding.
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Keywords: Newcastle; Transgression;; public space;; skateboarding;; youth;

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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