Wildland recreation in the rural South: an examination of marginality and ethnicity theory
The ethnicity and marginality explanations of minority recreation participation provide the conceptual basis for the authors’ inquiry. These theories are examined for a sample of rural African-Americans and whites. Using logistic regression, the researchers test for black and while differences in: 1) visitation to wildland areas in general; 2) visitation to national forest wildland areas; and 3) household visitation to the Apalachicola National Forest. Next, the authors test the marginality/ethnicity paradigm by examining reasons for non-visitation and latent demand for visitation. Findings show that race, sex, and age, as well as a race/poor (poor black) interaction term are strong predictors of visitation. However, race appears to be less effective in predicting reasons for non-visitation and latent demand for wildland visitation. Overall, results do not provide strong support for either ethnicity or marginality as a sole explicator of racial differences in wildland recreation. Rather, results indicate that the two probably work in combination to explain racial differences. The poor black interaction also suggests that rural black visitation to wildlands varies depending upon income, with less affluent blacks actually participating more than those with higher incomes. This contradicts the marginality assertion that recreation participation varies positively with income and suggests that marginality theory may need to he qualified depending upon residence (rural versus urban) and type of activity.