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Moral landscapes of public access rights: the role of government agencies in negotiating social inclusion and outdoor citizenship

Tildelt: kr 0,16 mill.




2009 - 2010

Creating and sustaining 'cultures of the outdoors' are vital for encouraging participation in outdoor recreation and securing the social and health benefits associated with it. However, changes in the economy, lifestyle, demography and environment of west ern societies have both undermined and diversified established cultural practices and identities of outdoor recreation. This project concerns the role of recreation management agencies in creating, negotiating and sustaining 'cultures of the outdoors' in the face of significant societal change. In particular, it seeks to investigate how such institutions make space for social inclusion in the negotiation of outdoor citizenship, as an increasing diversity of people seek (or not) to exercise their public ri ghts of access. The project does this with respect to institutions and access rights in both Norway and Scotland, taking value from the opportunity to compare two systems which are legally very similar but operate in different cultural contexts. In-depth, qualitative interviews with officials from the Directorate of Nature Management in Norway and Scottish Natural Heritage in Scotland, along with a discourse, visual and content analysis of relevant policy documents, will be used to identify the cultural p ractices of entitlement and responsibility - with respect to diverse people, practices, technologies - invoked in institutional understandings of outdoor cultures and access rights. The findings will enable a deeper understanding of how institutional prac tices (e.g. of subject formation) are interwoven with the enactment of legal rights to (re)produce particular moral landscapes. This will inform the ways in which public policy might shape cultural-legal interface of outdoor citizenship in the future. Add itionally, it will help refine landscape theory to better take account of recent developments in thinking on practice, ethics and morality.