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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

How wild boar hunting is becoming a battleground

Von Essen, Erica


Sport hunting has been shaped by modernization processes such as commoditization and rationalization. But these processes have also precipitated counterreactions seeking to return hunting to a state of authenticity. This is manifested in the rise of atavism such as bowhunting and exemplified in an embodied turn that involves a more intimate and care-based relationship with wildlife. Many hunters today are demarcated into “communities of practice” on the basis of how they are positioned in relation to these contradicting trends. In this article, I investigate what happens when such trends and leisure communities of practice collide, using a case study of wild boar hunting. I show how the wild boar becomes a nexus for the contradictions of modernization. This is discussed, first, as to what this means for wild boar welfare and, second, as to what sorts of identities, values, and ethics the wild boar brings about among hunters.


atavism; fair chase; hunting; identity; modernization; nature

Published in

Leisure Sciences
2020, volume: 42, number: 5-6, pages: 552–569

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Social Anthropology

Publication Identifiers


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