Challenges in outdoor tourism explorations: an embodied approach.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methodological challenges are rarely discussed in depth among outdoor adventure tourism scholars. Despite the prevailing qualitative approaches in this field, and the recognition that the fleetingness of the human experience and the non-linearity and unpredictability of the more-than-human world have the power to influence the research process, the messy, negotiated and often contested researcher’s role has been less considered. In addressing this, the aim here is to critically discuss the methodological approach to explorations of the outdoor experiences through deconstructing the researcher’s role. Through renderings of the existentialist propositions of being in the world and a poststructuralist philosophy of fluidity and flux, the attention is granted to embodied experiences as a way of generating knowledges. Being situated in the research setting, space is created for interrogation of the processual dimensions of commodified outdoor journeys from an emic, researcher-as-tourist perspective. Research in the outdoor scenaria is by no means a linear process but rather a messy, complex and often ruptured journey, further complicated by the ethical concerns, struggles and idiosyncrasies of the researcher. I thus discuss the nuances and complexities of doing the embodied research and the haphazard ways of data collection. In shifting attention to more existential aspects of being in the outdoors through the process of post-experiential reflections, discomfort emerged as a critical quality of the outdoor experience. I thus illuminate the significance of embodied research and epiphenomenal discoveries in the production of new knowledges, to which greater attention, both in theoretical and methodological conversations, should be paid in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-248
Number of pages21
JournalTourism Geographies
Volume23
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Outdoor tourism
  • adventure
  • discomfort
  • embodied knowledge
  • embodiment

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