Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Austin, D. Mark

Author's Keywords

Edgework; Rationalization; BMX; Commodification


Extreme sports--Social aspects; Extreme sports--Economic aspects; Marketing--Social aspects


Edgework is the practice of voluntarily placing oneself in a high-risk situation as means to escape the increasingly constraining and mundane conditions of everyday living (Lyng 1990). Commodification (Adorno 2001) and rationalization (Ritzer 2004) are two of the capitalist most effective tools when exploiting an activity in order create a large profit. Freestyle BMX (bicycle motocross) and 'extreme sports' in general are considered edgework (Milovanovic 2005). Freestyle BMX is experiencing the consequences of rationalization and commodification. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with fifteen male BMX riders, this study explores the motivations of BMX riders, along with how they react to and deal with the increasing commodification and rationalization of freestyle BMX. The results suggest that BMX riders continue to ride BMX in their own way, as a form of resistance, even as the processes commodification and rationalization alter their sport.