Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Paraschak, Victoria,






This qualitative, socio-historical study examines the process of how leisure practices were socially constructed at one of Canada's national parks, Point Pelee, during the years 1960-1982. Giddens' (1984) duality of structure paradigm is utilized to analyze two questions: (1) What structures contextualized the facilitation, constraint, or elimination of leisure activities at Point Pelee National Park between 1960 and 1982?, and (2) how did agents interact with these structures to facilitate, constrain, or eliminate leisure activities? Four leisure practices were analyzed: smelt fishing, duck hunting, bird watching/nature study, and beach activities, such as swimming, picnicking or camping. Data were collected from many primary and secondary sources related to leisure and outdoor recreation, and indepth interviews with twenty park visitors and administrators were conducted. An initial list of potential informants was compiled using park documents and a local lobby group directory, and then a snowball method was employed. All informants lived in Canada, and most resided in Essex County. An underlying assumption of this thesis is that the production of historical knowledge nost often controlled by individuals in privileged positions of "expertise." This thesis was s used as an opportunity to generate history using the stories/accounts of those most directly involved--the participants themselves. The nucleus of the histories are composed of the data gleaned from informant interviews, with other primary and secondary sources lending supplementary support. The theoretical purpose behind this style of description is to privilege data received from the agent (i.e., park visitors/park administrators), rather than data from other sources (i.e., newspapers, government policies). Thesis results suggest that preservationist ideologies facilitated agent reproduction of structures which turned Point Pelee into a more publicly regulated, preservation-oriented park. Subsequently, Point Pelee changed from serving the needs of local visitors primarily, to addressing the concerns of a more national/international audience. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Kinesiology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .L48. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2233. Adviser: Victoria Paraschak. Thesis (M.H.K.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.