Research Output

Unlikely hikers? Activism, Instagram, and the queer mobilities of fat hikers, women hiking alone, and hikers of colour

  This paper investigates a nascent, primarily online community of so-called 'unlikely hikers', united in the premise that hiking is good for everyone's mental and physical health and that diversity can and should extend to outdoor spaces including national parks. However, the ways in which hikers have hitherto been represented in outdoors media, advertising, and wider social imaginaries present potent barriers to participation. The paper traces the discursive origins and positioned ideologies of 'the outdoors' in former British settler colonies, particularly the USA, showing how national parks maintain legacies of frontier colonialism and default understandings of legitimate outdoorspeople as necessarily White, able-bodied, straight, and male. These legacies are then traced through four years of online ethnographic data (2015-2018), comprising multimedia narratives of fat hikers, solo women hikers including lesbian women, and hikers of colour as they relate their outdoor experiences on Instagram and related podcasts, blogs, and magazine articles. The discussion is theorized using Holman Jones and Harris's notion of queering and Urry's mobilities paradigm, and 'queer mobilities' is proposed as part of an activism and amplification aimed at queering the trail both within and beyond academic spaces.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    30 November 2019

  • Publication Status:

    In Press

  • DOI:

    10.1080/17450101.2019.1696038

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1080/17450101.2019.1696038

  • ISSN:

    1745-0101

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Stanley, P. (in press). Unlikely hikers? Activism, Instagram, and the queer mobilities of fat hikers, women hiking alone, and hikers of colour. Mobilities, https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2019.1696038

Authors

Keywords

queer mobilities; embodiment; outdoors; hiking; representation; Instagram

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