Morality, mobility and citizenship: Legitimising mobile subjectivities in a contested outdoors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGeoforum. 2015, 64 342-350. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.06.017
In this article, we examine articulations of mobile citizenship produced through the discursive practices of state agencies, drawing in particular on a study of the contested reconfiguration of outdoor citizenship in Norway. Whilst increased participation and diversity in outdoor activities is highly valued and encouraged because of its social benefits, moral landscapes of the outdoors may be part of settling and reinforcing social differences and existing power relations. The article identifies three discursive normativities through which state officials negotiate mobility and outdoor citizenship; knowledge, skills and socialisation; engaging (with) nature; deserving (in) the outdoors. These normativities serve as a basis for a critical discussion of different aspects of outdoor movement, and how social identities interact with the citizen responsibilities assigned to different forms of mobility, such as mountain biking, skiing and walking. The article demonstrates how and why certain outdoor practices, spaces and boundaries of citizenship are both fluid and critically negotiated by the state officials. By bringing together theories of moral landscapes, mobility and citizenship, the article contributes to understandings of the politics of mobility, and particularly the theorisation of how morality works in relation to different dimensions of mobility. It also highlights how the contestation of mobile citizenship is an issue in rural as well as urban realms.