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Searching for Wildness - An Attempt to Understand an Important Part of American Culture.
2000 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This is a senior thesis in Human Geography at the University of Karlstad, Sweden, written on location in Missoula, Montana, U.S.A. As the title suggests, this thesis is an attempt to understand a part of American culture that has had the most effect on me as a student at the University of Montana, Missoula, during the fall and spring semesters of 1998-1999. There is a clear and special connection between North America’s wild lands and natural areas and the people that inhabit the continent. There is a relationship that is hard to define and easy to take interest in. It traces back to early colonization of the North American continent, when ideas and attitudes towards wilderness and uninhabited land were spread over seas by the European settlers. After the independence of America, there was an urgent need to establish an American culture and identity, which lead the search to nature and its creations. This was were America found monuments and mountains to compare to Europe’s cathedrals. The relationship between Americans and their natural environment has passed through many different stages. From a stage of fearing and repulsing wilderness as an initial approach introduced by the New World settlers, to a stage of appreciating wilderness after the pronunciation of its place as the nations new cultural identity. From a stage of selling wilderness, when the outdoor movement gained speed, to the stage of taming and manipulating wilderness, when more people lead to increasing levels of visitation. More and more deterioration of America’s nature lead to a stage of protecting wilderness in order to save it for future generations and a tendency of a revitalization of the romantic wilderness as a place to escape to when the claws of the age of materialism and information technology dig too deep into the human soul. I have in this thesis made an attempt to clarify the relationship between America and her environment from past to present, encompassing both literature studies on known facts and empirical studies of people who recreate in natural settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 94 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53275Local ID: KUG C-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53275DiVA: diva2:1101828
Subject / course
Human Geography
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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