Muir, Roosevelt, and Yosemite National Park as an Emergent Sacred Symbol: An Interaction Ritual Analysis of a Camping Trip


We argue that interaction ritual (IR) theory provides a temporal and interactional point of origin from which to trace an influential IR chain that became a deciding factor in the unification of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove under federal control within present-day Yosemite National Park. The emotions generated by the rituals of Roosevelt’s and Muir’s camping trip in May, 1903 in the short term, however, failed to result in a lasting consensus on ideology. This is a point that Roosevelt’s lack of support for Muir in the subsequent controversy over the damming of the Hetch Hetchy Valley clearly documents.

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Symbolic Interaction

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