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Spirituality and the StateManaging Nature and Experience in America's National Parks$
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Kerry Mitchell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886418

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886418.001.0001

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(p.193) Conclusion
Spirituality and the State

Kerry Mitchell

NYU Press

The conclusion demonstrates that national parks are managed environments intended to cultivate a spiritual or emotional response in visitors. It argues that the work of park managers demonstrates a movement in religiosity towards individualized experience. The ways in which park managers control the physical environment of the parks is indicative of a communication between citizens and the state through the shaping of experience to fit management goals. This communication both draws upon and influences spiritual experience, investing visitors in the structures of state authority without demanding a conscious affirmation of group identity.

Keywords:   park managers, group identity, spiritual experience, individualization, management goals

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