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15 May 2013

The Wave as Community Construction

It's easy to overlook the microsociological moments when community is created. For the most part, these moments do not involve a bureaucrat stamping a document or issuing a photo ID. I was reminded of that today while out for my daily bike ride. The weather is absolutely gorgeous this time of year in North Georgia, which means that there are a lot of cyclist out on the road. Typically, cyclists will wave to each other as they pass. There were a lot of other cyclists to wave at. I remember being elated the first time another cyclist waved at me when I first took up the sport. I had a real sense that I belonged to an exclusive fraternity. One can see similar behaviors among motorcyclists and Jeep owners. (See my friend Michael's upcoming book on The Jeep People.) It's a simple, informal rite with no costs: a wave. Yet, it binds strangers and generates identity. It matters.

1 comment:

  1. On my rides with the Dream Team (and generally), I am trying to wave at car and truck drivers, too, because I want them to notice (and not hit) me...