This page presents the ongoing research “Cycling borders. Ethnological research on identity, borders and cycling agency in three European borderlands” funded by the Kone foundation and implemented at the University of Turku in 2015-2017. It provides basic information on the aims and methods of the research, contact details as well as follows and visualizes the progress of the research.
There is increasing demand for sustainable ways of human mobility and travel in the contemporary world, both on the local everyday life level as well as in terms of travels across borders. Cycling seems to be an answer to many societal questions, but it has hardly been studied what people actually do on their bikes or how they relate to the environment. In order to do this, the research adopts not only a multi-sited research approach, but also a mobile one. Here the autothnographic materials are added with ride-alongs and interviews, surveys and participant observation, as well as GPS-based materials.
By taking advantage of the borderlands perspective, this study focuses on the reciprocity of human-bicycle relations and the way these contribute in identity construction and everyday life mobility at the changing European borders. The ethnographic focus is set on three European borderlands (e.g. Pomerania, Finnish Archipelago-Åland Islands and Torne River Valley, all with their specific natural, social, political and cultural borders). The case studies analyzed include work/shopping cyclists, hobby cyclists and tourists. This research will include fieldwork in each borderland as well as cooperation with local partners.