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A life to risk: cultural differences in motivations to climb among elite male mountaineersAuthor(s): Patrick T. Maher; Tom G. Potter
Source: In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 155-158
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionThis study explored the cultural differences and motivations to climb of elite, male mountaineers. The purpose of the study was to first determine the motivations of elite male mountaineers and then link these motivations to the culture in which the mountaineer lives or grew up in. Five co-researchers participated in the study: two Canadians, two Americans, and one from the United Kingdom. To understand the co-researchers' motivations, culture, risk perceptions and cultural perceptions, a standardized survey was sent out containing fifteen open and closed ended questions. The survey was qualitative in manner and achieved a greater understanding of the climbers' knowledge and opinions about motivations, risk and global culture. Through a thematic analysis of survey results, various common themes emerged. Discussion of co-researchers' common themes regarding risk, motivation and culture allowed for a variety of findings, including: mountaineering because you are good at mountaineering, mountaineering to go places, enjoying the hard work, having barriers of physical difficulty and time, overcoming such barriers through persistence, managing risk to reduce it, being sensitive to mountain cultures and being aware of economically disadvantaged cultures that have little time for recreation. Overall, this study found little connection between a mountaineer's culture and his motivations, perhaps due to the similarity of the co-researchers' cultures.
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CitationMaher, Patrick T.; Potter, Tom G. 2001. A life to risk: cultural differences in motivations to climb among elite male mountaineers. In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 155-158
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