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Defining wilderness with pictures: an exploratory studyAuthor(s): Ginni Dilworth
Source: In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 295-299.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (166.39 KB)
DescriptionDefinitions of wilderness have varied across time and cultures. Understanding the way that wilderness is perceived provides insight into both the level of support it receives in American society and the way in which it is managed within that context. Traditionally, definitions have been text-based. This study utilized participant-generated photographs to examine representations of wilderness. Participants were given disposable cameras and asked to take pictures of settings that represented wilderness to them. They were then asked to rank their photos in the order in which they most represented wilderness. Key features in the photos ranked as most representative of wilderness included mountains, lakes, and heavily forested areas. The findings in this exploratory study indicate that the participants' representations of wilderness match those settings which have been historically described as wilderness. However, this may have been a reflection of prior knowledge and peer influence, along with other external factors.
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CitationDilworth, Ginni. 2007. Defining wilderness with pictures: an exploratory study. In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 295-299.
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