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Ågren, Ida Maria (Mia), 2016. Why the whiteness in Swedish outdoor recreation? : a discourse analysis of gender and ethnicity in Swedish environmental policy and practice. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



As of 2009, Swedish Outdoor Recreation is guided by public policy, pleading for everyone’s
equal value and right to experience and be outdoors, regardless of gen der, age or colour
(2009/10:238). Given Swedish Outdoor Recreation history of being founded upon the perspectives
of a white, male middle class (Sandell, 2009), this opens up for the questions of
how the goals of equality are achieved and what ideas about nature, gender and ethnicity are
actually being reproduced.

The objective of this study is divided into three parts. First, a literature study of Swedish
Outdoor Recreation is conducted to understand the context of study and its particular historical
representation of gender and ethnicity. Second, the thesis examines public policy document
Future Outdoor Recreation (Governmental bill 2009/10:238) to see how different
ideas about gender and ethnicity are described in relation to nature and reflects upon its
relation to the history of Outdoor Recreation. Third, the study presents a case study consisting
of an analysis of how gender and ethnicity are framed in the practices of the environmental
non-governmental organisation Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

The results show that in the policy document Future Outdoor Recreation, white, male
persons were found to be more positively framed in relation to nature than females and immigrants.
Being female, “immigrant” or/and “non-Nordic” was either less represented in text
or images or specifically described as something negative, in terms of a need of education
and training to be out in nature. Similar presentations of gender and ethnicity was also found
in the case study of SSNC along with observed perceptions of difficulties for women and
immigrants to feel welcome in the organisation. The study suggests that to reach the goals
of equality in Swedish Outdoor Recreation, the negative stereotypes about immigrants and
women in outdoor recreation need to be actively challenged by both public policy makers as
well as SSNC, perhaps also through addressing the idea of nature and culture as separated.

Main title:Why the whiteness in Swedish outdoor recreation?
Subtitle:a discourse analysis of gender and ethnicity in Swedish environmental policy and practice
Authors:Ågren, Ida Maria (Mia)
Supervisor:Arora-Jonsson, Seema and Hallgren, Lars
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Gender, Ethnicity, Environment, Nature Views, Diversity, Discourse Analysis, ENGO
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Rural sociology and social security
Deposited On:13 Jul 2016 11:22
Metadata Last Modified:13 Jul 2016 11:22

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