Accepted Paper:

The Symbolic Appropriation of Privately owned Nature Landscapes  


Hogne Øian (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores how inhabitants of some rural communities of Norway, as a response to recent developments within angling and hunting tourism, engage in efforts of symbolic appropriation of privately and collectively owned nature landscapes.

Paper long abstract:

The sparsely populated rural communities of Norway are, like in most european countries, characterized by the declining economic significance of agriculture. This has encouraged farmers to look elsewhere for income sources. Most farmers own considerable areas of uncultivated land, consisting of forested and mountainous areas that are rich with game and fish. Quite a few have subsequently turned to the booming globalized market of angling and hunting tourism. In spite of a fairly recent transformation from representing substantial contributions to local household economies into popular recreation activities, angling and hunting continue to be vital elements in local forms of sociality and identities. In addition, the inhabitants are strongly attached to the landscapes that include the hunting grounds and angling rivers designed for national and foreign tourists. While the rights to hunt and angle are tied to private ownership of land, lakes and rivers, few question the legitimacy of it as long as these rights can be easily rented. Still, many rural inhabitants resent a process that is perceived as the making of the nature landscapes surrounding their hamlets into globalized commodities. Both at the level of intersubjective experience, and in social and political discourses of identities, local inhabitants engage in processes where some aspects of the landscapes tend to be given status like inalienable possessions of the community. The outlined situation will be discussed by looking into possible relations between aesthetics of nature and identities, and by drawing on theories of property relations and forms of appropriations.

Panel P10
Consuming culture: the politics and aesthetics of cultural tourism in different national traditions