Embodiment, power and the politics of mobility: the case of female tramps and hobos

T Cresswell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mobility and travel have recently attracted the interest of many people, both inside and outside geography. This interest has often focused on issues of gender. Mobile women, in particular, have been seen to be indicative of wider social and cultural themes of power, exclusion, resistance and emancipation. In this paper, I consider the gendered dimensions of a moral panic in the United States between 1869 and 1940, known as the 'tramp scare'. I argue that the construction of the panic around threats to women's bodies and the actual experience of female tramps illuminates a clearly gendered and embodied politics of mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • tramps
  • United States
  • embodiment
  • mobility
  • gender
  • moral panic
  • ROAD

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