An investigation into the place meanings of recreational climbers at an indoor rock climbing venue

Masters Thesis

Lewis, P. 2018. An investigation into the place meanings of recreational climbers at an indoor rock climbing venue. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Education
AuthorsLewis, P.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMA

Indoor rock climbing venues were originally designed as a training site for outdoor rock climbers. However, more recently these venues have been used by climbers who have chosen to remain indoors for the experiences that these sites provide. In addition, the provision of indoor rock climbing facilities has greatly increased in England and Wales in recent years. Yet despite this growth and the popularity of the sport, little is known about the experiences of the people who identify themselves as indoor rock climbers. Without this information, there is incomplete knowledge of the meanings behind the indoor rock climbing experience.

Therefore, this research study has investigated the place meanings of seven recreational indoor rock climbers who have chosen to remain within an indoor venue. The research employed an interpretative case study design using participant observations and semi-structured interview methods to collect the data. A process of coding and a thematic analysis revealed three place meaning themes: 1) The efficiency of the physical setting, 2) The challenge of the climbing experience, and 3) Social relationships at the venue.

These findings indicated that the construction of participant’s place meanings that encapsulated their experiences were dependent on both the physical qualities that define the setting, and the social interactions with the people at the venue. These place meanings uncovered important place attachments associated with place dependency, place identity and social bonding. This has shed light on the meanings and attachment bonds that develop at an indoor rock climbing venue.

KeywordsIndoor rock climbing; place meaning; place attachment
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Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jan 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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