A 21st Century Movement: An Anthropological Study of the Budapest Bike Mafia

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/3rd.icmhs.2021.02.170

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A 21st Century Movement: An Anthropological Study of the Budapest Bike Mafia

Szilvia Nyers



The aim of my research is to explore the Budapest Bike Mafia movement and to examine its operation, which formulated the vision of a tolerant, responsible society in which people act in a sustainable way to create dignified living conditions for those in need. Therefore, first of all, it is important to examine in what social environment the given organization is created, as well as all its characteristics. These include the patterns of its organization, the interpretation of the social problem it embraces, the efforts made to achieve the collective goals, the repertoire of the movement, the circle of participants, the symbols they use, and their communication. I believe the strength of a community is most evident in crisis situations, and our changing world poses a myriad of challenges to local society. Movements in this context can be considered litmus tests: their emergence not only reflects but also draws attention to the state of the given milieu. The ordinary history of the Bike Mafia is a great example to anyone of how we can do socially useful and good things. Philip Zimbardo’s research has already proven how average people can become monsters or even heroes. In my presentation, I would like to introduce the movement I have researched through the story of these ordinary heroes.

Keywords: alternative response; homelessness; local; movement; social change.