Motorbikers over fifty – deviant or non-deviant?

“… at what age, if any, should a person start riding a motorcycle? More importantly, at what age should a motorcyclist stop riding?” [our emphasis] ask co-authors professor William E. Thompson, Ph.D (Texas A&M Uni.) and his daughter Mica L. Thompson, B.A., M.Sc., in the Nov. 2013 issue of the journal Deviant Behavior. Their paper : ‘Mature Motorcyclists: Violating Age Norms and Loving It’ describes ethnographic interviews with 90 motorcyclists who were over fifty – and which led the authors to conclude that : “Although the stigma once associated with motorcycling is waning rapidly, some people still view motorcyclists as deviant.” They add : “Even those who see riding a motorcycle as a non-deviant mainstream activity, however, tend to view motorcycling as the domain of the young and view motorcyclists over the age of fifty as violating age norms.”


[1] The professor is over 50 and he rides a motorcycle. (He also plays the drums. Improbable is not aware of any ethnographic study of 50+ drummers.)

[2] The IOOB organisation (video above) should not be confused with Industrial Organizational Organizational Behavior or the International Organization Of Benefit