Capturing adventure: trading experiences in the symbolic economy

David McGillivray, Matt Frew

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the early twenty-first century, participation in adventure sports activities represents a fertile means of reinforcing personal identity and cultural distinction, secured through the quest for, and accrual of, symbolic capital. This article draws on a case study investigation of one Scottish whitewater rafting company to explore the technologically mediated nature of the accrual of symbolic capital in the adventure sports sub-field. It is concluded that experiences have emerged as new tradable commodities. An industry of commercial adventure organizations has emerged to service a demand characterised by a quest for managed instantaneous gratification and edited memories, rather than for authenticity and self-discovery.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


    • adventure
    • outdoor sports


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