Hogs, Blogs, Leathers and Lattes

The Sociology of Modern American Motorcycling


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About the Book

This book combines more than 45 years of the author’s riding experiences with data collected over five years of systematic observation and extensive ethnographic interviews with over 200 male and female riders. Much has been written about hardcore bikers, but there has been little scholarly research on the much larger segment of the population more aptly called motorcycle enthusiasts. This book focuses on them—the hard working plumbers, truck drivers, and other blue collar workers as well as the white collar executives, doctors and other professionals who are mostly married, have mortgages, pay their bills, obey the law, and on weekends and holidays participate in a favorite pastime, riding motorcycles.

About the Author(s)

William E. Thompson is professor emeritus of sociology and criminal justice at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

Bibliographic Details

William E. Thompson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, appendix, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6859-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9276-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. Bikers and Motorcyclists 9
2. Studying Motorcyclists 27
3. Biker and Motorcyclist Values, Old and New 44
4. Motorcyclists and the “Brotherhood of Bikers” 66
5. Women and the Motorcycling “Sisterhood” 87
6. Motorcycle Shows, Rallies and “The Pilgrimage” 105
7. Motorcycles, Motorcyclists and Motion Pictures 121
8. Bikers and Motorcyclists on Television 138
9. Motorcyclists, the Internet and Other Technologies 154
10. Why Motorcyclists Ride: Motorcycling and Life on the Edge 168
Glossary 187
Appendix: Motorcycle Subculture Interview Questions 195
Chapter Notes 197
Bibliography 201
Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Thompson provides a fairly rich description of the motorcycling life. Recommended”—Choice
  • “Thompson’s data are informative and his anecdotal observations and quotations are fascinating and entertaining”—iZoom.com