Policing the edge: risk and social control in skydiving

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Laurendeau, Jason
Van Brunschot, Erin G.
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Taylor & Francis
In this article, we draw on participant observation and interview data to explore risk and social control in skydiving. We explore Lyng’s (1990) concept of edgework, and argue that too little attention has been paid to the ways edgeworkers may be enabled or constrained by various actors both outside and inside the edgework setting. We suggest that, while skydiving evokes notions of freedom and creativity, participants, and to a lesser extent outsiders, constrain individual freedoms in skydiving through various formal and informal attempts at policing. In particular, experienced skydivers monitor how other jumpers go about negotiating the edge, often subtly and sometimes conspicuously encouraging them to perform edgework in an acceptable manner. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for the conceptualization of the edgework model.
Sherpa Romeo green journal. Permission to archive accepted author manuscript.
Edgework , Social control , Skydiving--Risk
Laurendeau, J. and E. Gibbs Van Brunschot. (2006). Policing the edge: Risk and social control in skydiving. Deviant Behavior, 27(2), 173-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639620500468535