Racial Capitalism and Outdoor Adventure Education: Challenging Inequity and Reimagining Connection, Community, and Place
Keywords:outdoor education, race, gender, equity, education
This paper argues that the adoption of theories of racial capitalism as a framework for analysis can help shift dominant pedagogies in Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) to not just be more inclusive, but to reimagine ways that communities of outdoor education, recreation, and leadership can build awareness of the reproduction of the Wilderness and the Outdoors in the U.S. as a racialized and gendered space and build more racially and gender diverse and equitable communities in OAE and related fields. To do this, I trace the social formation of Wilderness as a racial capitalist project and examine the historical and current implications for OAE. Specifically, I explore a common curricular area of OAE, sense of place, while applying a theoretical framework of racial capitalism. This paper is intended to serve as a resource and a call to action for members of the outdoor education, recreation, and leadership communities to disrupt racial and gender inequity in outdoor learning communities.
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