From Social Media to the Outdoors: Exploring Messages That Connect With Underserved Urban Youth

Authors

  • Susan Houge Mackenzie Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Keri Schwab Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Lindsey Higgins Agribusiness Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • P. Brian Greenwood Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Marni Goldenberg Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Jerusha Greenwood Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • William W. Hendricks Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2017-V9-I2-8231

Keywords:

social media, technology, nature, youth development, environmental justice

Abstract

Despite the mental and physical benefits of visiting natural areas, and increases in outdoor activity participation among U.S. youth overall in the past decade, outdoor access is skewed toward nonurban, nonminority populations. This environmental justice issue is particularly pronounced for minority youth in urban areas, such as the Los Angeles Basin. While decreased contact with nature has been associated with increased technology use, the popularity of new technologies and social media outlets presents novel opportunities to connect underserved urban youth with natural areas. Seven focus groups with 42 urban youth in the L.A. Basin explored underserved youth perspectives on connecting with nature, social media, and how social media can deliver nature-related messages of interest to this population. Content analysis revealed commonly preferred social media platforms and Web-based activities, and six themes related to participants’ perceptions of nature: unique experiences, escape, social connections, challenge, adventure, and accessibility. Subscribe to JOREL

Author Biographies

Susan Houge Mackenzie, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Susan Houge Mackenzie is an assistant professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Keri Schwab, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Keri Schwab is an assistant professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Lindsey Higgins, Agribusiness Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Lindsey Higgins is an assistant professor in the Agribusiness Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

P. Brian Greenwood, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

P. Brian Greenwood is an associate professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Marni Goldenberg, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Marni Goldenberg is a professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Jerusha Greenwood, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Jerusha Greenwood is an associate professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

William W. Hendricks, Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

William W. Hendricks is a department head and professor in the Experience Industry Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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Published

2017-05-22

Issue

Section

Regular Papers