Calls > Session 11

11 – Recreational uses of nature: actors, representatives and representations

Co-facilitators: Damien FÉMÉNIAS (CETAPS), Ludovic MARTEL (LISA), Frédérique ROUX (VIPS2) & Arnaud SÉBILEAU (IFEPSA)

This session seeks to gain insights into the recreational uses of nature, based on the territorial challenges that govern the framework within which such uses occur. Thus the voluntarist commitment of the State to ensure their "controlled development" may be understood in terms of the rapid spatial expansion of these uses and their impact on the territories concerned. The session intends to interpret representations as both the political work of the different actors involved and that of the symbolic productions that they shape and mobilise, with a view to understanding how they are at once the product and the instrument of political and activist issues.

Promoted for their contribution to "tourism attractiveness”, decried for their potential negative impact on the environment, and problematized in terms of dangerousness, recreational uses of the natural environment are objects of multiple appropriations. In every case, these appropriations involve their representatives in competing definitions of the activities, of the legitimate uses of space that these imply, and of the nature of the environment they use. Recreational spaces are thus objects of coding that are indissociable from the political issues in relation to which they are instrumentalised (construction of a territorial and political identity, claims of territorial specificity, promotion of market activities, definition and defence of heritage, use restrictions and environmental protection).

Thus, beyond what is stated, experienced and perceived by the different actors involved in these relationships of power and meaning, this session aims to provide input for exchanges on the contributions from the different disciplines that envisage, in their work, representations based on this two-fold question relating to the political work of ‘representatives’ and the symbolisation of natural spaces within a framework of political struggle. Communications will be expected to examine these recreational activities from the viewpoint of the performative work of formalising spaces and the populations that use them (censuses, locations, mobility data and other figurations including iconographic and mapped descriptions) and through the work of representation and mobilisation, in its many forms (networks, deals, and competition), of those who ensure the types of access, checks and control over territorial resources.


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Expected types of paper

The communications will be welcome from all fields of the social and human sciences (history (narration), sociology, political sciences, ethnology, anthropology, economics, psychology, sociology, geography and town and country planning). Studies of legal aspects are also encouraged. Papers may present any of the following:
- the results of empirical work and field studies,
- reflections of an epistemological nature,
-  methodological reflections.

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