Equality and inclusion in the outdoors

Connecting with nature from an Indian perspective

Authored by: Di Collins , Latha Anantharaman

Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138782884
eBook ISBN: 9781315768465
Adobe ISBN: 9781317666523

10.4324/9781315768465.ch34

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Abstract

This study developed through the shared interests of the authors. The enquiry evolved as we shared our perceptions of how the people we met, lived among and worked with related to nature and the outdoors. Latha Anantharaman is an environmentalist and writer. Rather than formal research, her investigations have taken the form of journalistic interviews. She will shortly publish a book, Three Seasons (in press), in which she recounts her observations of life in her rural community in South India. Di Collins is primarily an outdoor and community educator. Her research interests have been qualitative and interpretive. She has focused on issues related to equality, connecting with nature and developing a sense of belonging. She explored making connections with nature during a Churchill Fellowship to Australia, where cultural aspects of our connections became heightened. She has been visiting India for long periods over the past two decades and first met Latha eight years ago. Latha and Di share a love of being in nature. Both are concerned that it seems that, increasingly, people are becoming disconnected from nature. In this chapter, qualitative and interpretive research focuses on the characteristics of connections with nature. The interviewees represent a range of ages and a variety of educational backgrounds. After analysis, we then consider the implications for the practice of outdoor educators.

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