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Everyday life in a magnificent landscape: : Making sense of the nature/culture dichotomy in the mountains of Jämtland, Sweden

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Author list: Prince, Solene;Wall-Reinius, Sandra
Publication year: 2019
ISSN: 2514-8486

Abstract

Although the nature/culture dichotomy has been extensively criticized by scholars, it remains pervasive to our conception of the world. Discourses of nature as a pristine milieu and of culture as a realm of human dominance not only impact cognition, but also the local practices of those involved daily in such contested areas. In this study of the mountainous area of the Jämtland County, Sweden, we report on the ways local stakeholders make sense of their surrounding landscape in the wake of its magnificent character as they go about their daily lives as residents, entrepreneurs and recreationists. We turn to the notion of dwelling to frame these narratives. This ultimately becomes an exploration of the contradictions and confusions within and between the discourses of conservation, management, recreation, authenticity and tourism development that affect how local stakeholders consciously and subconsciously cope with the tensions brought about by the nature/culture dichotomy. The findings are used to propose a critical, as well as constructive, notion of dwelling that stresses the importance of opening up to new possibilities and responsibilities during negotiations over protected areas.


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