A phenomenological approach to canoe tripping: applicability of the dwelling perspective

  • Author / Creator
    Mullins, Philip Meredith
  • In 2005, a group of seven canoeists completed a 100-day canoe trip called Paddling the Big Sky: From the Mountains to the Arctic. The expedition was designed as a commonplace journey through which participants and the researcher questioned and reinterpreted their experience using Ingold’s dwelling perspective. The trip was used to explore ways to move from a dominant wilderness paradigm towards an emerging sustainability paradigm in adventure travel. This dissertation examined observations and participant narratives from journal entries and group discussions to explore engagement with place and issues of sustainability. The literature review established the need to examine skill as contributing to an ecological approach to adventure travel. The commonplace journey, a hermeneutic phenomenological method, was developed to place theory in dialogue with practice. The analysis was presented as three interrelated chapters presented as stand-alone units. Each chapter reviewed specific literature, the methodology, and elements of the theoretical approach before adding to the analysis. Adventure travel was interpreted as (a) reproducing older stories and creating new stories, (b) as a choreographed exercise in place-making for participants to “be-on-trip,” and (c) as part of a path of personal and collective growth for participants. A participatory ecological approach to adventure travel was described based on embodied interactions within one’s active socio-ecological environment. Canoe tripping emerged as a way of being in relation to surrounding elements (i.e., landscape features, environmental flows, and other human and non-human beings) that was enabled by traditions and communities of practice, and which could be modified to engage environments, landscapes, places, and people in pursuit of sustainability.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Fox, Karen (Physical Education and Recreation)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • McDermott, Lisa (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Nicol, Robbie (Outdoor Education, University of Edinburgh)
    • Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Palmer, Andie Diane (Anthropology)