Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Friending Fear: A Classic Grounded Theory Study of Frontier Mountaineering
by Kessler, Katrina V., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2019, 219; 13896221
Abstract (Summary)

This research was conducted for the purpose of discovering the main concern of the participants and theorization of how that concern is continually resolved within in the substantive area of investigation that is referred to as frontier mountaineering in this study. This study applied classic grounded theory (CGT) method to 22 sources of qualitative data which included live interviews, documentary films, YouTube video interviews, and written texts. Frontiering is the term that emerged through this study to designate the main concern of the population under study. The resulting theory of this study is termed friending fear, which explains and predicts how frontier mountaineering is possible due to a benevolent, extensively cultivated, particular kind of relationship to fear which allows for fear to become a messenger and guide to help evaluate risks and make wise decisions in order to stay safe during frontiering ventures. This study includes discussion on how fear is differentiated from anxiety in that fear is regarded as an emotion that contains information while anxiety is regarded as a state of being with attributes that are different from the emotion of fear. The theoretical relationship to fear in frontiering that is conceptualized in this study is explained through conceptual categories and their properties that are all connected to the core category of friending fear. Connected categories include purification, conducive medium, and self-development. The core category is connected to the other categories insofar as they reveal some of the various internal and external elements that facilitate a harmonious relationship to fear in frontier mountaineering. This study closes with a comparison of the newly-formed grounded theory of friending fear with the literature on the topic of fear in extreme sports in a general sense. This research contributes to the field of outdoor sport and extreme sport studies as well as the field of risk and uncertainty studies. In particular, it offers a theory that explains and predicts how a specific kind of relationship to fear, which is cultivated under certain conditions, is what allows for safe venturing into inherently dangerous territory to be possible.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brymer, Eric, Gavin, Diane
Commitee: Mendelowitz, Edward
School: Saybrook University
Department: Human Science
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Sociology, Psychology
Keywords: Anxiety, Classic grounded theory, Extreme sports, Fear, Mountain sports, Mountaineering
Publication Number: 13896221
ISBN: 9781658490948
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