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Encounters and the guided group trip: going "on the scene" to examine the situational interpretation of encountersAuthor(s): Erin K. Sharpe
Source: In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 98-104.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionThe disconnection between reported encounter norms and the number of encounters visitors can tolerate has disturbed recreation researchers for a number of years. Recent research suggests that visitors, specifically white water rafters on a guided group trip, make sense of encounters not normatively, but through a process of situational negotiation at the moment of the encounter (Jonas, Stewart, & Larkin, 2000). This research suggests that encounters are not evaluated positively or negatively, but are treated as "part of the experience." This study extends this research into other settings (lakes and rivers) and modes of travel (canoe and kayak). Much of Jonas et al.'s findings were supported: trip guides playa crucial role in the negotiation process; and encounters affirm group identity, often one that is superior to the encountered group. Setting and mode of travel differences were noted: encounters were more selectively interpreted on lake trips, where encounters were more often anonymous; and there was less of a "witnessing audience" effect on canoe and kayak trips (subdued activities) than white water rafting (risky activity).
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CitationSharpe, Erin K. 2002. Encounters and the guided group trip: going "on the scene" to examine the situational interpretation of encounters. In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 98-104.
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