The social construction of the jaywalker

Jaywalking was one example I used in our course to illustrate the idea of social construction. There was a time when "jaywalking" did not exist and streets were shared by pedestrians and all manner of vehicles. We talked in the course about the way in which businesses lobbied against attempts by North American cities to slow the speed of automobiles on city streets and to create the view that roads are for cars. Peter Norton's book Fighting Traffic:; The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City considers this topic in detail. To get the gist of the story, check out this article by Norton in today's Globe and Mail.

 From a   1910 postcard   of Toronto's King and Yonge intersection looking north

From a 1910 postcard of Toronto's King and Yonge intersection looking north