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Introduction

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Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)

Abstract

Let me begin with a true fictional tale: “Stay on the trail and avoid cutting switchbacks!” the sign intoned. That was not the first time I had encountered such an invective, nor, I was sure, would it be the last, but for some reason I began to wonder about this directive. I couldn’t cut off switchbacks, and indeed I had instructed hundreds of clients and campers not to do so either. I knew why. I had explained why both to eager and uneager ears. But now I was wondering. Animals of all kinds cut off switchbacks. Whenever I see game trails cutting back and forth across the landscape they are, in fact, signs not of disobedience leading to degradation but of nature itself. Why was I so damaging but a moose not? That made me mad. So I deliberately stepped off the trail and cut across the switchbacks. “Yeah! Stick it to the man,” I thought. I wasn’t going to be controlled by some arbitrary rules. I get to choose what I do. The guilt quickly followed, though. And then shame. Deep down I knew that what I was doing was wrong, no matter how much philosophizing I did. Who was “the man,” anyway? Wasn’t he me just as much as anyone? Sheepishly I got back on the trail before anyone saw.

Keywords

  • Knowledge Production
  • Immanent Secret
  • Environmental Historian
  • Political Ecology
  • Outdoor Recreation

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2015 Sean Ryan

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Ryan, S. (2015). Introduction. In: Theorizing Outdoor Recreation and Ecology. Leisure Studies in a Global Era. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137385086_1

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