Wilderness Sociology Essay

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“Wildness Is All Around Us”

The takeaway in Cronon’s essay “The Trouble with Wilderness,” is that the history of our mindset about wilderness has affected the way we see nature that is a part of our everyday existence. He argues that our frontier past and moves to protect certain wilderness areas has unknowingly caused us to be at odds with the very nature or “home” in which we live. There is a duality that has resulted which hobbles us in our ability to live in harmony and protect the nature or “home” where we exist, while at the same time encouraging an unsupportable perspective of wilderness as being “untouched.” Adam Rome and Stephen Pinceti do much to bolster his thesis in their essays about urban development. It is clear in Rome’s “The Bulldozer in the Countryside” that from pre WWII days on, there has been a mentality of conquering nature where we reside and intend to build our “homes,” bending nature to our wills. Cronon would argue that this mentality is derived from the larger belief that “wilderness” resides somewhere beyond the scope of where the majority of us live, therefore leaving the “wildlands” around us subject to our unconscionable actions. In other words, by making the spiritual world of the wilderness a place we escape to for respite, rejuvenation and to leave our true past behind, we are unknowingly treating the very places we live in, our “homes” as something alien and not a part of us. It is this mentality that Rome and Pinceti uncover in their mutual essays on urban sprawl and development in the United States. Both focus a great deal of their time on California, or Southern California as an example of where this inability to see the land around us as part of us and the resulting destruction to the wildlands not designated as wilderness. Pinceti states that it is the incredible biodiversity in Southern California that makes it a perfect example of the destructive force of urban sprawl. It is, as a result, he points out “the endangered...
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