Exploring Relationships of Trust in 'Adventure' Recreation

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Journal Article
Leisure Studies, 2007, 26 (1), pp. 47 - 64
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A central concept in the notion of leisure, and therefore also of recreation, is freedom. In this article we argue that freedom in organised recreation, especially in activities involving some degree of deliberate risk-taking (i.e. in adventure recreation), is preserved through relationships of trust between recreation organisers and participants. This article seeks to outline the theoretical field of trust and to begin to explore the concept of trust in the context of adventure recreation. A recent criminal conviction in New Zealand has highlighted the issue of trust in recreation and serves as a point of departure for the purposes of exploring conceptualisations of trust and their application to the adventure recreational context. Trust does not appear to have attracted attention in the recreation literature to date, yet it may provide a useful means of negotiating the contested terrain created at the nexus of recreation culture (in particular adventure recreation), recreation management and application of the law.
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