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Exoticism as a Mediator of Everyday Experiences of Nature: an Anthropological Exploration of Soundscape in Zoos

Abstract : The increasing levels of stress entailed by contemporary urban lifestyles can lead to a greater desire to escape from cities. The restorative sense of ‘being away’ produced by natural environments has been substantially explored in greenspaces but little studied in zoos, which endeavour to immerse visitors in a local or exotic environment through both the visual environment and soundscape. We explore how soundscapes contribute to this sense of immersion through self-reflective interviews with 20 participants in two zoos in Paris (France). The zoo was perceived as a natural or a socially crowded area depending on the auditory context. Interestingly, focusing on the captive exotic animals seemed to make participants more aware of the more common birds around them in the zoo. By highlighting both, zoos could potentially increase awareness and care for urban biodiversity.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 11:21:36 AM
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Agathe Colléony, Léo Martin, Nicolas Misdariis, Susan Clayton, Michel Saint Jalme, et al.. Exoticism as a Mediator of Everyday Experiences of Nature: an Anthropological Exploration of Soundscape in Zoos. Human Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2017, 45 (5), pp.673 - 682. ⟨10.1007/s10745-017-9937-y⟩. ⟨hal-01656944⟩

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