Jaktturism - ett delikat balansarbete i en komplex ekonomi
Erika Andersson Cederholm
Summary, in Swedish
Recreational hunting in Sweden can be depicted as being embedded in two different but overlapping cultural and socio-economic contexts. One is the traditional stewardship-oriented form of hunting, in Swedish called ‘allmoge’ hunting. Another form is the commercial form of hunting, where hunting is packaged and offered to visitors, quite often with different types of services included. These two forms of organising hunting are based on different logics of exchange. The ‘allmoge’ hunting is in general terms organised by local communities of hunters or through ‘friendship hunting’, a reciprocal relationship encompassed by the local hunting team and invited guests. The other is market-oriented, with differing range of price depending on the segment. These two systems represent different value spheres that both intersect and collide, creating tensions and ambiguity, which serves as the context and backdrop of this study. The study is based on interviews with commercial hunting tourism operators, observations of hunting events, and documentary material. The article focuses on how these commercial actors navigate in this complex social and cultural economy. Through the theoretical concept “balancing work” narratives and accounts related to the following themes are being analysed: 1) Gift economic exchanges and how they intersect with market relations, 2) the tension between wildlife management and commerce, 3) the different and often seemingly contradictory meanings of “the good hunting experience”, and 4) the dramaturgy involved in the balancing work of the hunting event. The paper concludes with a synthesising analysis, theorizing around the hunting tourism product as a form of “peculiar goods”, that is, a type of product that comprises moral ambiguity and hence must be legitimised as a “product”. This points at a complex economy where economic arguments are always embedded in social and moral considerations, evoking an ongoing and dynamic balancing work.