Understanding the role of society, culture, and history on contemporary uses of the bicycle for transportation can be challenging, to say the least. The complexity of these dynamics do not lend themselves to straightforward quantification, and thus they are often overlooked or discounted in transportation research that is dominated by a numbers-centered research approach. To address this issue, I will be conducting a literature review of sociocultural and historical research on bike transportation.
Ignoring history and culture can compound systemic inequality and experiences of marginalization. Systems of discrimination and bias are often difficult to pin down and catch in a straightforward cause-and-effect relationship. My hope is that by gathering together insights from disciplines and methods not as commonly seen in transportation studies (such as history, anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, geography, communication, media studies, literature, gender studies, ethnic studies, etc.), I can identify clear ways this work can influence future research, policy, and planning.
I’m currently hiring a graduate student enrolled in a PhD program at UC Davis to help me with this work. Below is a job description:
I am seeking a half-time graduate student researcher (GSR) to work with me to complete a literature review on research about the socio-cultural and historical aspects of bicycle transportation. This review will contribute to policy and planning, where such factors are often overlooked. This is a two-quarter position, ideally for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018. The GSR will implement the literature selection process and conduct the literature review. In conversation with me and collaborators, they will identify key themes and create a visual map of these themes and disciplinary connections. They will also assist in creating an outline for a white paper and receive co-authorship credit. Further co-authorship opportunities in a peer-reviewed publication are also possible.
Project summary: This project will assess policy and research insights drawn from a review of socio-cultural and historical scholarship on bicycling transportation. The review will pay close attention to questions of equity, diversity, and inclusion and the influence of categories of social identity such as race, gender, and class. Literature will be gathered from a variety of disciplines including but not limited to history, anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, geography, communication, media studies, literature, gender studies, and ethnic studies. Insights from such disciplines offer new avenues for transportation research and new resources for practitioners. This is a propitious moment for such a review, because of growing concerns about equity and justice within active transportation. Sociocultural and historical research on active transportation promises to point toward solutions for addressing challenges of inequality and cultural difference.
Qualifications: Good standing in a PhD program at UC Davis. Expertise in socio-cultural and/or historical research. Experience in conducting literature review. Experience with online visualization tools a plus. This position will be particularly appealing to those who have an investment in mobilizing research to address inequality, an interest in transportation, and/or a desire to develop skills to translate academic research to broader audiences.
Applicants should send a cover letter that outlines their qualifications and interest in this position, their CV, and contact information for two references to firstname.lastname@example.org