The Trouble with Wonderlands: The National Park Service and the Social Construction of Nature
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Nature and wilderness are socially constructed; the strict dualism of nature versus culture that pervades both historical and contemporary public discourse is impossible. Contemporary understandings of nature and wilderness in the United States are historically grounded and are largely a product of the National Parks Service’s production of space. In many ways, because the National Parks represent the nation, they shape definitions of wilderness in the social imaginary of the United States. In an era that is confronting anthropogenic climate change, the separation of nature and culture is anachronistic and unhelpful for environmental responsibility.