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Title: A history of modern Scottish mountaineering
Author: Lawes, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 3894
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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This study of mountaineering in Scotland moves the subject from the margins of historicalwriting - often located under the subheading of 'leisure and recreation' - into the mainstream of social history. lt particularly presents new evidence, in the form of oral history life story interviews, specially recorded, analysed and archived for this study. Elite climbers and mountaineers of the last thirty years constitute the majority of the interviewees, many of whom were influential personalities. ln analysing their interviews, I reflect on oral history as a method and examine how these elite climbers have redefined Scottish mountaineering ethics and practices. As most interviewees were active mountaineering participants during and after the 'Thatcher years', there is an emphasis on this period. However, the longer history presented in the substantive chapters analyses the transformation of Scottish mountaineering from its beginnings as an early working utility before the nineteenth century all the way through to its contemporary status as a modern recreational pastime. This thesis has a primary purpose of "filling a gap', of using existing Scottish mountaineering sources, usually written for purposes other than broader historical nanative, to tell a story that seldom appears in general histories. But it also seeks to contribute to a social history of Scotland that focuses on the way a seemingly marginal activity like mountaineering can create sub-cultures that help to explain how people adapt to major socio-political crises and changes. I have argued that the early history of Scottish mountaineering reveals traditions against which contemporaries' practices have been built, and against which they have reacted; that climbers of the 1930s and 1980s have shown the possibility that climbing might inadvertently, or deliberately, be an agent of political expression; that winter climbing represents a distinctive aspect of Scottish mountaineering with a special identity and image amongst its practitioners, which recently has become a contested activity with ethical questions raised by changes in practice and environment. lssues of gender expression have been considered throughout this thesis, not only as regards masculinities but also in connection with expression of femininities; and finally equipment has been discussed in several chapters and is linked to the cuttural analysis of identity and ethics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mountaineering