Modern American rock climbing: Some aspects of social change
Modern American rock climbing is characterized by (1) a motivation or reward structure that encourages the continual creation of new climbs, and (2) a finite and exhaustible medium in which to create them. These two characteristics provide a theoretical explanation for the pattern of deliberate normative change observed in climbing. The theory can be modeled by a simple differential equation, which is shown to be generally consistent with time series data for a number of American climbing areas. On the basis of the theory, predictions about future normative changes are suggested. It is possible that the theory may be generalized to other social activities sharing the two characteristics mentioned above, such as science.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Hamilton, L.C. 1979. “Modern American rock climbing: Some aspects of social change.” Pacific Sociological Review 22:285–308.
© 1979 Pacific Sociological Association