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Landscapes of gaze and practice

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The aim of this article is to explore the often taken for granted idea of the visual, scenic nature of landscape and what by leading Anglophonic feminist landscape scholars is seen to be a penetrating masculine gaze inherent in the visual. Particularly within a Nordic context, a competing conception of landscape has led a subaltern existence, along with that of scenery. A 'Nordic' notion of landscape is often conceived in terms of territory and the material manifestation of a polity and its body of customs and practices. Gender implications of the 'political landscape' concept, however, have not been addressed to any degree. This article seeks to explore the idea of the visual as inherently masculine and how it affects both notions of landscape. Empirical findings from the south-western coast of Norway are presented in order to shed light on these competing notions of landscape. Two questions in particular are posed: what is the nature of differing landscapes of gaze and practice and what are the implications of these landscapes for a broader debate about the landscape concept?

Keywords: farming; gaze; gender; landscape; south-west Norway

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2003


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