International Development, Community, and Environment

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Mushing exists in several forms: short and long-distance races, adventure tourism, recreation, and sport. While some scholars assert that gender does not influence a musher’s experience, this research, based on interviews with mushers, broadens understanding of how gender influences mushing and a musher’s sense of self. Nearly all research participants initially stated that gender is irrelevant in mushing; for example, in competitions, people of all genders compete directly against one another. As interviews unfolded, participants spoke about how gender norms and stereotypes complicated their experiences and how non-mushers perceive them. Despite depictions of mushing as masculine, participants stated that mushing embodies both masculine and feminine traits and is empowering for all genders. We suggest that scholars in outdoor recreation continue to broaden their research agendas to acknowledge the complexity of gender identities and the empowering nature of the outdoors, particularly for persons who reject the traditional gender binary.

Publication Title

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

Publication Date

2-23-2022

Volume

14

Issue

3

First Page

24

Last Page

37

ISSN

1948-5123

DOI

10.18666/JOREL-2022-10992

Keywords

outdoor recreations, mushing, dog sledding, queerness, gender, gender identity, outdoor sports, feminist methodology, feminist epistemology

Included in

Sociology Commons

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