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Chapter 4: Language in the recreation worldAuthor(s): Melanie Armstrong; Monika M. Derrien
Source: In: Selin, Steven; Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Miller, Anna B., eds. 2020. Igniting research for outdoor recreation: linking science, policy, and action. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-987. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 257 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (471.0 KB)
DescriptionAnthropologist Clifford Geertz described language as a cultural practice that provides a “template or blueprint for the organization of social and psychological processes” (1973: 216). Language matters because the way we speak becomes the blueprint for how we construct and manage our world. It holds power in framing issues, forming knowledge, and normalizing certain ways of interacting with the environment. The ways that we talk about recreation, including the very term “recreation,” reproduce assumptions about people and places while influencing management actions and outcomes. This chapter addresses how language shapes not only recreation and its management, but also sustainable recreation research.
Our purpose is threefold: first, illuminate ways that language shapes recreation management work, particularly as it affects inclusivity; second, make a case for the need for managers to recognize how language influences practice and perception; and third, identify opportunities to better align research on recreation language with agency objectives. As recreation researchers and managers seek to create more just and sustainable recreation practices, let us begin with language that will guide us toward the cultural changes to which we aspire.
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CitationArmstrong, Melanie; Derrien, Monika M. 2020. Chapter 4: Language in the recreation world. In: Selin, Steven; Cerveny, Lee K.; Blahna, Dale J.; Miller, Anna B., eds. 2020. Igniting research for outdoor recreation: linking science, policy, and action. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-987. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 51-62.
KeywordsOutdoor recreation, tourism, public lands, research.
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