Sites of qualification: the motorcycle rider airbag and the production of safety

Journal article


Reimer, S. and Pinch, P. (2020). Sites of qualification: the motorcycle rider airbag and the production of safety. Journal of Cultural Economy. 14 (1), pp. 26-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2020.1788624
AuthorsReimer, S. and Pinch, P.
Abstract

The paper mobilises the distinctive notion of ‘sites of qualification’ as a means of providing an expansive understanding of how innovative products are designed, produced and brought to consumer markets. We focus on the development of a new safety product for motorcyclists, the rider airbag, in which inflatable body protection is either incorporated into, or worn underneath, textile jackets and leather suits. The paper follows the airbag’s trajectory across a range of different sites, including lead firms and their territorial settings; MotoGP racetracks, mobile laboratories and professional riders; courts of law; and showroom and archive locations. The paper’s sites of qualification approach expands understandings of innovation by constructing a dialogue between two sets of literatures: actor-network approaches to the qualification of products and narratives of economic innovation as emerging through clusters of agents and firms within industrial districts. The conclusion emphasises that sites of qualification are integral to the ways in which technical products such as the rider airbag are made social.

KeywordsCultural Studies
Year2020
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Journal citation14 (1), pp. 26-40
PublisherInforma UK Limited
ISSN1753-0350
1753-0369
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2020.1788624
Publication dates
Online20 Jul 2020
Print02 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Jun 2020
Deposited24 Jun 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Cultural Economy, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com

Page range1-15
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/89zz9

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