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Geocaching Culture I need a little help with a sociology assignment, please.

#1 User is offline   AdventureAlways 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:30 PM

Hello all! I was wondering if people who are part of the community could give me some insight into the culture of Geocaching. I have this assignment in my sociology class where I am supposed interview a subculture. He remarked that we should interview a subculture we knew nothing about so we could broaden our knowledge with their new input. I completely agree, which is why I am asking a subculture that I, myself, would love to know more about since I am just a novice. Now I'll ask you if some of community could give me their two cents in the matter and tell me about the four pieces of criteria my teacher would like that a culture is comprised of:

---Symbols: Representations of your cultural beliefs. (I saw a few frogs around, so maybe someone could tell me what that is all about.)

---Language: A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with people. (I am interest and perplexed by the complexity of language I have seen so far.)

---Values- Standards by which a culture believes in. (From what I have seen this is a honorable community with a lot of fair values.)

---Norms: Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. (I have heard a few custom rules for this craft and I am sure their are many more.

I need explanations of these four bits of criteria in this subculure of geocaching. I would like that no one just posts links to the lexicon or the rules of the game, but instead give your own words and thoughts as to what you think the geocaching culture is. This will take more time to do, but maybe my appreciation for the interview will satiate you enough to lend me your time. Also, I can't stress enough that I don't want any arguments as to how this assignment was dictated or any qualms that people have with sociology as a whole. That will sour the thread and I just would love for this to be a great education for my self and the class that I will give a speech to. So if you could please offer your insight your kindness is awesome.

#2 User is offline   Mushtang 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

I would suggest you spend a day reading through the threads in the getting started forum to bring you up to speed on a lot of the culture, and then go to an Event Cache soon and interview people that are there using the stuff you learned from the other forum.

You'll probably do pretty well that way.

#3 User is offline   Moose Mob 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

OK guys, let 'em have it! But please keep it semi-serious and very civil. Otherwise I will have to sic the frog on you!

#4 User is offline   Ms.Scrabbler 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:48 PM

I'm rather insulted by geocachers being considered a sub-culture. Thinking I may have the wrong idea of what a sub-culture is I googled it and found a number of sites that all pretty much said this:

Subculture:
A subculture is a set of people with distinct sets of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. The subculture may be distinctive because of the age of its members, or by their race, ethnicity, class and/or gender, and the qualities that determine a subculture as distinct may be aesthetic, religious, occupational, political, sexual or a combination of these factors.

Different from the majority, "which passively accepted commercially provided styles and meanings, and a 'subculture' which actively sought a minority style. In other words, subcultures are groups of individuals who, through a variety of methods, present themselves in opposition to the mainstream trends of their culture. If the subculture is characterized by a systematic opposition to the dominant culture, then it may be described as a counterculture.

Here are examples of subcultures:
Punks
Stoners
Goths
Jocks
Preps
Bisexuals
Puritans
Cults
Clans

#5 User is offline   Moose Mob 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:50 PM

Additional note: try to spend some time with local geocachers as well. Forum regulars are a sub-sub-culture. Also keep in mind that the sub-sub cultures in the Bay Area are different than the geocachers in Yuma, AZ, and are yet again different from geocachers in Belgium.

#6 User is offline   wimseyguy 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:59 PM

The only culture some of us have is growing on the uneaten snacks that fell under the car seat. :anibad:

#7 User is offline   TheAlabamaRambler 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:43 PM

Geocachers are, as a percentage, an almost statistically insignificant subset of the world's population, so we are in fact a sub-culture.

Geocachers are a large group of people, including all of their myriad beliefs and personalities. Geocaching is an international game. Anyone can play. Therefore ascribing values, beliefs and culture to such a large and diverse population of geocachers would be like nailing jelly to a tree... it can't be done.

There is a subset of all geocachers who list their caches on the geocaching.com listing site, and who adhere to some degree to the rules and guidelines promulgated for that site... let's call them Groundspeak-compliant. These Guidelines are spelled out here - http://www.geocachin...guidelines.aspx

There is a further subset of Groundspeak-compliant geocachers who come into this discussion forum to converse and share their feelings and beliefs about the game.

Evaluation of each subset brings you closer to being able to identify common values, beliefs and cultures.

My comments here are based on my personal experiences with Groundspeak-compliant geocachers both in and out of this forum.

View PostAdventureAlways, on Mar 1 2010, 02:30 PM, said:

---Symbols: Representations of your cultural beliefs. (I saw a few frogs around, so maybe someone could tell me what that is all about.)

Signal the frog is the symbol, mascot and icon of Groundspeak, the company which owns the geocaching.com listing site, among others.
Lackeys are employees and volunteers who work for Groundspeak.
Groundspeak HQ is known as The Lilly Pad or The Frog Palace.
It speaks to the culture of geocachers that we take these things and make them part of the symbology of geocaching. It may be an indication of a shared sense of humor endemic in our culture.

Quote

---Language: A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with people. (I am interest and perplexed by the complexity of language I have seen so far.)

Geocaching has indeed evolved a language of our own. We adopted the word Muggle from the Harry Potter books and movie series to indicate anyone who is unaware of the game... casual observers who might see us hunting a cache are referred to as Muggles and we often attempt to be stealthy so as not to give away the cache location to Muggles (non-geocachers).

Somewhere along the way the term Muggle developed a negative connotation, where damage to a cache is assumed to have been done by a Muggle, ergo when a cache is damaged or stolen we say that it has been Muggled.

There are many other examples of common words and language that our culture has adopted or adapted to our purpose.

Quote

---Values- Standards by which a culture believes in. (From what I have seen this is a honorable community with a lot of fair values.)

I have never been able to determine exactly why, but the geocaching community attracts what I believe to be an inordinate amount of people with values that I hold and respect in others. I have been involved in many cultures in some way... I've traveled a bit, seen 18 countries and lived in 3, been a church-going Christian, Boy Scout, Freemason, outdoorsman, life skills coach and counselor to those who are among the worst of juvenile offenders... but for whatever reason my experience has shown that geocaching attracts a higher percentage of good people than any of the others!

Geocachers overall do live by ethics and standards. This forum is a good example of that. Read the threads with a view to the big picture and you will see that those of low standard or lax ethics are poorly accepted among us. This is reflected also in the 'real world' of geocaching outside of these forums.

Values like CITO - Cache In Trash Out are highly adopted by geocachers. As a whole we believe in leaving the world better than we found it, and carrying out trash found on the geocaching trail is one way that geocachers express that shared value.

Taking care of caches that we find, re-hiding them properly, reporting problems or fixing them ourselves are values shared by the geocaching community.

Quote

---Norms: Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. (I have heard a few custom rules for this craft and I am sure their are many more.

There are very few rules... hard-and-fast requirements that must be adhered to. For the most part geocachers willingly accept the guidelines and play by them. That is an indication of a well-developed culture with shared values.

Most of the guidelines are just that, allowing some flexibility, ambiguity and discretion.

Things like 'You must sign the logbook to claim a find' are among the norms of geocaching. There can be exceptions, but overall that is a norm that we all understand and play by.

No buried caches except on your own private property is a hard-and-fast rule that all cachers understand
Do no damage is another cultural ethic we share.

That geocachers can peacefully coexist and closely interact by following such loose Guidelines we show a common culture.


Good luck, I hope that gives you something to work with.

This post has been edited by TheAlabamaRambler: 01 March 2010 - 02:04 PM


#8 User is offline   NeecesandNephews 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:51 PM

I really wish I could help you, but I am new here and don't know anything!! At least not until you can give the secret codeword and handshake!
Good luck on your assignment though! :anibad:

If you need to meet a specific number of words to get a good grade, I can certainly point you in the right direction!

I really can't respond as I fear when I get to the "rules" part I might go berzack! :laughing:






edit to add- the above was meant to be humor. I am sure you will find a lot of great advice on here! It is a very interesting and complex subject.

This post has been edited by NeecesandNephews: 01 March 2010 - 01:56 PM


#9 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:53 PM

I have to agree that considering geocachers to be a sub-culture is a stretch, at least. Simply seeing the frequent and often extreme disagreements on basic issues in the forums would make the premise suspect. That said, I think there are a few things that we mostly share:

---Symbols: The frog is mostly a logo and/or trademark. Better "symbols" would be the ammo can and the film cannister. The first represents the best (most durable, watertight, and larger) container for our caches, and the second represents the worst, least durable, and almost smallest container.

---Language: See the Geocaching Lexicon

---Values- For the most part, geocachers tend to be lovers of the outdoors. Despite the frequent "high-tech" label that gets stuck on us, I know many geocachers that could by no means be considered that. Other than that, we come from all walks of life. We have our puritans, and we have our "anything goes" folks, and everything inbetween.

---Norms: While our geocaching norms are generally derived from the "Guidelines" as published on this website, just as with the Bible... interpretations vary widely. We have our conservatives and we have our liberals, so to speak. Reading even a few threads here should be very revealing.

#10 User is offline   Snoogans 

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  Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:00 PM

View PostMoose Mob, on Mar 1 2010, 02:50 PM, said:

Additional note: try to spend some time with local geocachers as well. Forum regulars are a sub-sub-culture. Also keep in mind that the sub-sub cultures in the Bay Area are different than the geocachers in Yuma, AZ, and are yet again different from geocachers in Belgium.



Yes. There is great wisdom in this post. Hear him well.

Additionally there is the sub-sub-subculture of Jeremeynians:

Yeah, the creepiest by farrr are the Jeremynians. Those are the folks that get plastic surgery to look just like Jeremy (president and founder of Groundspeak and geocaching.com) and go around signing "lesbian" in American Sign Language for some reason.

It's uncanny how close plastic surgery can come to making an exact duplicate.

Here are a couple of Jeremynians at a past GW....Creepy:
Posted Image

Less creepy are my followers, The Snoogys. They trade poorly at caches and take it all for resale at my world wide chain of Dollar and Dollar Equivalent Stores. :anibad:

#11 User is offline   TheAlabamaRambler 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:17 PM

Add irreverence to my list of answers above! Don't be thrown by those of us who have a compulsion to add irrelevant off-topic commentary no matter how serious the thread topic. Sometimes we can't help ourselves. :anibad:

That is in fact an important part of our culture, at least of the sub-culture who dare play in this forum, which you seek to identify!

This post has been edited by TheAlabamaRambler: 01 March 2010 - 02:19 PM


#12 User is offline   AdventureAlways 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:15 PM

View PostScrabblers, on Mar 1 2010, 12:48 PM, said:

I'm rather insulted by geocachers being considered a sub-culture. Thinking I may have the wrong idea of what a sub-culture is I googled it and found a number of sites that all pretty much said this:

Subculture:
A subculture is a set of people with distinct sets of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. The subculture may be distinctive because of the age of its members, or by their race, ethnicity, class and/or gender, and the qualities that determine a subculture as distinct may be aesthetic, religious, occupational, political, sexual or a combination of these factors.

Different from the majority, "which passively accepted commercially provided styles and meanings, and a 'subculture' which actively sought a minority style. In other words, subcultures are groups of individuals who, through a variety of methods, present themselves in opposition to the mainstream trends of their culture. If the subculture is characterized by a systematic opposition to the dominant culture, then it may be described as a counterculture.

Here are examples of subcultures:
Punks
Stoners
Goths
Jocks
Preps
Bisexuals
Puritans
Cults
Clans

Yes, you've got a good grasp, but their are two categories: Subculture or counter culture (that I have been taught). If you aren't in one than you're in the other. I give this hobby the title of a subculture because it is exactly as you first defined. I also call it a subculture, because it is definitely not a counterculture, cause as you so boldly underlined: "present themselves in opposition to the mainstream trends of the culture.", which is the definition of counter culture, not subculture.
Subculture is not limited to only those examples you listed (and some of the ones you listed could be considered counter cultures such as stoners and cults, because they go against the norms of society as a whole.) A subculture could be a high school softball team, because they have their own set of values, langauge, symbols, and norms. I don't mean to insult, I only mean to follow the definitions given to me, so please understand, it is just a general title.

This post has been edited by AdventureAlways: 01 March 2010 - 10:17 PM


#13 User is offline   narcissa 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:23 PM

View PostScrabblers, on Mar 1 2010, 01:48 PM, said:

I'm rather insulted by geocachers being considered a sub-culture.



I enjoy being offended as much as the next person, but I really don't see what there is to be insulted about.

#14 User is offline   AdventureAlways 

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:30 PM

As I have read what you all have written me so far I could make a three minute speech easy with all that you have shared. I thank you for the replies and even a very well detailed e-mail I received on the subject. Even the people that will put up a fight for clarity's sake, your information is valued if not just to give me a laugh.
Sorry for that, only kidding of course. I have grand appreciation to all and hope to receive more insight. Thanks!

#15 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:54 AM

I never thought of geocaching as a sub-culture any more than hunters, skiers, backpackers...hmmm maybe geocaching is a sub-culture.

We do have our own vocabulary.

There are also sub-cultures within geocaching. There are the "number seekers" who geocache chiefly to see their find counts increase. To them every cache is a good cache. Place a cache by an historic site, beautiful view, etc. and their attitude is "Yeah, yeah, now where is the next cache?" There are the "place seekers" who geocache for the cool places that geocaching can bring them. Caches in parking lots and behind strip malls don't interest them. Their attitude if they encounter one is "Why did you waste my time bringing me here?" There are the "thrill seekers" who go after caches on the sides of cliffs, tops of abandoned bridge pylons, high in trees, on mountaintops and other extreme places. Their attitude is "Challenge me!" Then there are geocachers who fall 2 or all 3 of the above.

Then there are the geocoin seeker and icon seeker sub-subcultures.

#16 User is offline   succotash 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 08:29 AM

View PostTheAlabamaRambler, on Mar 1 2010, 01:43 PM, said:

<snip>
Geocachers are a large group of people, including all of their myriad beliefs and personalities. Geocaching is an international game. Anyone can play. Therefore ascribing values, beliefs and culture to such a large and diverse population of geocachers would be like nailing jelly to a tree... it can't be done.
<snip>


Since TAR approved irreverence... I would like to point out that if you freeze the jelly first (with something in it to create a small hole) you can indeed nail jelly to a tree. :laughing:

#17 User is offline   Snoogans 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 08:52 AM

View Postsuccotash, on Mar 2 2010, 10:29 AM, said:

View PostTheAlabamaRambler, on Mar 1 2010, 01:43 PM, said:

<snip>
Geocachers are a large group of people, including all of their myriad beliefs and personalities. Geocaching is an international game. Anyone can play. Therefore ascribing values, beliefs and culture to such a large and diverse population of geocachers would be like nailing jelly to a tree... it can't be done.
<snip>


Since TAR approved irreverence... I would like to point out that if you freeze the jelly first (with something in it to create a small hole) you can indeed nail jelly to a tree. :laughing:


I think he's got ya there Ed. :laughing:

#18 User is offline   Prime Suspect 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:07 PM

View Postsuccotash, on Mar 2 2010, 10:29 AM, said:

Since TAR approved irreverence... I would like to point out that if you freeze the jelly first (with something in it to create a small hole) you can indeed nail jelly to a tree. :laughing:

... for a while.

#19 User is offline   Prime Suspect 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:20 PM

One aspect of Geocaching that sets it apart from many other activities, is that is highly reliant on mutual trust. We trust that most people will want to return something to the game by hiding and maintaining a cache. Without that, the game ceases to exist. We trust that when we leave these caches out in wild, that the people who find them will return them in the same condition as they were found (if not better), but will not substantially alter the owner's original intent. We trust that people are telling the truth when they post their logs. We trust that the description and ratings the owner has provided is reasonably accurate.

#20 User is offline   Dino Hunters 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:37 PM

View Postknowschad, on Mar 1 2010, 02:53 PM, said:

---Symbols: The frog is mostly a logo and/or trademark. Better "symbols" would be the ammo can and the film cannister. The first represents the best (most durable, watertight, and larger) container for our caches, and the second represents the worst, least durable, and almost smallest container.


Also the public domain "G" that marks the spot. It's a widely recognized symbol.
As is the TB (Travel Bug) sticker.

#21 User is offline   atmospherium 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:03 PM

Quote

---Values- Standards by which a culture believes in. (From what I have seen this is a honorable community with a lot of fair values.)


Honest to goodness, I first read this as "...From what I have seen, this is a horrible community..."

And I didn't even blink. Less than a year into my caching career, and I'm already jaded and cynical.

One thing about the geocaching subculture that I find attractive is the slang terminology that has grown up around the activity. Muggles and skirt lifters and geo trails and the whole host of others. I think this is a fun aspect of the game...within the game, of course. I don't use the slang outside of geocaching any more than I use "shoegazer" terminology outside of my musical subculture activities.

#22 User is offline   Walts Hunting 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:17 PM

if I had to describe this group in one word it would be anarchistic. We do resent authority. You are in the Bay Area (I was born in SF and raised in San Mateo).

I don't know if a non premium member can search for events but start there and attend with notebook in hand.

In addition to resisting authority we love to talk about our exploits.

You can be a premium member for $3 a month or $30 a year. If you don't think this will be long term invest in the monthly membership.

#23 User is offline   jasondulac 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 06:57 PM

View PostNeecesandNephews, on Mar 1 2010, 01:51 PM, said:

I really wish I could help you, but I am new here and don't know anything!! At least not until you can give the secret codeword and handshake!



As Briansnat once said


Quote

I believe the standard we agreed on was when meeting another geocacher, one was to yell "Ho, are ye a geocacher?" and the correct response is "Yay I am".

Upon the confirmation, the two then approach each other, put their left hand on the other person's right shoulder, standing arm's length and dance around in a circle while skipping and singing (very loudly) "Geocachers are we! Runy muny mee! Yaba daba baba. He, he, he!".


#24 User is offline   TheAlabamaRambler 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:14 PM

View PostWalts Hunting, on Mar 2 2010, 05:17 PM, said:

if I had to describe this group in one word it would be anarchistic. We do resent authority.

Therein lies the difficulty of ascribing characteristics to a large group and defining a culture!

I definitely do not believe that many of us are anarchists.

Anarchists believe in no government control, right up until they take down the existing government and gain control, then without exception they set up their own controls!

Here's a good short video tutorial which explains the various forms of government.

http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?...0032&page=6

Groundspeak rules this game. Yes, there is geocaching outside the purvue of Groundspeak, there are other listing sites and other sets of rules to play by, but they are trivial in comparison.

Groundspeak runs this game as a Republic. Geocachers play as part of a Republic. The Irish and their partners own the listing site, other related sites, this forum, etc. But instead of running it like an Oligarchy and establishing a set of rules they opened the company to outsiders, recruiting a corps of Volunteer Reviewers and others to advise the company. Groundspeak did not derive the Guidelines by edict, they listened to the Reviewers AND to the body of geocachers... thus this discussion forum. You do have a voice, and Groundspeak does listen.

Therefore in the Republic of Geocaching the 'rulers' do not have absolute power, we have a set of laws we all choose to follow, and we have advisers like the Reviewers who carry our desires to Groundspeak to keep their power in check.

This means that we geocachers play under a Republican 'government' which has the ultimate power of law and we have Reviewers and others who contribute to the Guidelines. We choose to follow the Guidelines that they create. We accept that if we do not follow the Guidelines then we don't get to play in their space.

None of us advocate anarchy, which would be playing the game without regard to the Guidelines. We don't just make up our own way of doing things. And we're not advocating that we bring down Groundspeak and take over the game.

So, anarchy, no.

#25 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:27 PM

Quote

Honest to goodness, I first read this as "...From what I have seen, this is a horrible community..." And I didn't even blink. Less than a year into my caching career, and I'm already jaded and cynical.


I just don't get that. When I explained geocaching to one person he looked at me with a sense of amazement.
At first I thought he was enthralled with the idea of the hunt. Instead he said "You mean there are people who hide these things for the enjoyment of people that they may never meet?". It made me realize that we have something special here. Sure, as more people get into geocaching there will be more control freaks and jerks
joining the sport, but in close to 9 years I can honestly say I've encountered very few.

Geocaching is a sport that depends on the honesty and decency of the participants. Because of that it tends to draw from the best of society.

It may seem different if you are a frequent visitor to these forums, but the many thousands of geocachers who are out there happily finding caches every day rarely come here to express their delight. We generally get the people who are upset about some aspect of the sport, but the visitors to these forums are a tiny minority of geocachers.

Quote

I don't use the slang outside of geocaching any more than I use "shoegazer" terminology outside of my musical subculture activities.


If you dismiss My Bloody Valentine and Pavement as simple "shoegazers" I'll have to take you out behind the shed.

#26 User is offline   atmospherium 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:00 PM

Quote

It may seem different if you are a frequent visitor to these forums, but the many thousands of geocachers who are out there happily finding caches every day rarely come here to express their delight. We generally get the people who are upset about some aspect of the sport, but the visitors to these forums are a tiny minority of geocachers.


Oh yes, I agree this is absolutely true. My encounters with fellow cachers out in the field over the past year have been 100% friendly and positive. Not so much in these forums.

Quote

If you dismiss My Bloody Valentine and Pavement as simple "shoegazers" I'll have to take you out behind the shed.


Why, is there a special "Gazers only" cache out there containing Rachel Goswell, Bilinda Butcher, Seana Carmody, and Catherine Cooper as swag? Lead me to it!

#27 User is offline   Knight2000 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:45 PM

I think picking geocachers is a real stretch. While some view geocaching religiously, the majority do not. It's just a hobby. Those questions don't seem to apply in my mind.

I don't think geocaching would work well for this assignment.

#28 User is offline   narcissa 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:17 PM

View PostKnight2000, on Mar 2 2010, 10:45 PM, said:

I think picking geocachers is a real stretch. While some view geocaching religiously, the majority do not. It's just a hobby. Those questions don't seem to apply in my mind.

I don't think geocaching would work well for this assignment.



Subculture != Religion

#29 User is offline   chachi44089 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:32 PM

View Postwimseyguy, on Mar 1 2010, 12:59 PM, said:

The only culture some of us have is growing on the uneaten snacks that fell under the car seat. :)

TRAIL MIX!!!

#30 User is offline   4wheelin_fool 

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:42 PM

I'm a recovering puritan, geohipster, neocacher.

#31 User is offline   Snoogans 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:01 AM

View Postatmospherium, on Mar 2 2010, 11:00 PM, said:

Quote

It may seem different if you are a frequent visitor to these forums, but the many thousands of geocachers who are out there happily finding caches every day rarely come here to express their delight. We generally get the people who are upset about some aspect of the sport, but the visitors to these forums are a tiny minority of geocachers.


Oh yes, I agree this is absolutely true. My encounters with fellow cachers out in the field over the past year have been 100% friendly and positive. Not so much in these forums.



I think many forum visitors perceive unfriendliness when that is not really the intent. Written words in this context are easy to misconstrue especially when opinions differ.

There are people on this forum that I almost never agree with, yet when we meet at events it's always friendly.

The forums aren't the real world and should never be taken as such unless an actual threat is implied.

#32 User is offline   Wooden Cyclist 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:56 AM

View PostSnoogans, on Mar 3 2010, 08:01 AM, said:

View Postatmospherium, on Mar 2 2010, 11:00 PM, said:

Quote

It may seem different if you are a frequent visitor to these forums, but the many thousands of geocachers who are out there happily finding caches every day rarely come here to express their delight. We generally get the people who are upset about some aspect of the sport, but the visitors to these forums are a tiny minority of geocachers.


Oh yes, I agree this is absolutely true. My encounters with fellow cachers out in the field over the past year have been 100% friendly and positive. Not so much in these forums.



I think many forum visitors perceive unfriendliness when that is not really the intent. Written words in this context are easy to misconstrue especially when opinions differ.

There are people on this forum that I almost never agree with, yet when we meet at events it's always friendly.

The forums aren't the real world and should never be taken as such unless an actual threat is implied.


Well put Snoogans. Discussions that are done by email or other printed methods often go awry because the intent of the messages is not understood. When you add tone of voice and body language the intent becomes much more clear. There is also the anonymous aspect of posts that lead people to post in a tone that they would not use in a face to face conversation.

Now back on topic.

Is Geocaching a sub-culture? Looks like it meets the criteria. Some of the posters in here seem to think that it cant be a sub-culture because its just a game or its not a religion. Look a it this way. You can be a member of several sub-cultures and no one of them necessarily defines who you are. They don't have to dominate your way of thinking. Sub-cultures are something you participate in and sometimes you don't even know it.

This post has been edited by Wooden Cyclist: 03 March 2010 - 05:57 AM


#33 User is offline   TheAlabamaRambler 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:38 AM

Actually geocaching is closer to an idioculture.

Quote

1. A group, such as a sports team, that creates norms and behaviour patterns (for example, nicknames and rituals) that are different from those in the subculture of which it is a part.

2. The culture of a small group, such as a sports team. The idioculture consists of a system of knowledge, beliefs, behaviours, and customs shared by members of the group.

http://www.answers.c...pic/idioculture


#34 User is offline   Snoogans 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:16 AM

View PostTheAlabamaRambler, on Mar 3 2010, 12:38 PM, said:

Actually geocaching is closer to an idioculture.

Quote

1. A group, such as a sports team, that creates norms and behaviour patterns (for example, nicknames and rituals) that are different from those in the subculture of which it is a part.

2. The culture of a small group, such as a sports team. The idioculture consists of a system of knowledge, beliefs, behaviours, and customs shared by members of the group.

http://www.answers.c...pic/idioculture



I think Wood Cicle dude above you got it right.

We are NOT a small group. The fact that there are nearly a million active caches all over the world proves that.

However, there are idiocultures within geocaching as well. I.E. Some geocontinuums advocate multiple finds on event caches to get credit for event temps while others certainly do not. Some geocontinuums are densly seeded with p&g film cans every 528+ feet while others would hound them into archiving a less than local standard hide. Idiocultures stick out like a sore thumb at mega events. They often wear matching shirts and set up their own tent as a gathering place.

#35 User is offline   Wooden Cyclist 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:49 AM

View PostSnoogans, on Mar 3 2010, 02:16 PM, said:

View PostTheAlabamaRambler, on Mar 3 2010, 12:38 PM, said:

Actually geocaching is closer to an idioculture.

Quote

1. A group, such as a sports team, that creates norms and behaviour patterns (for example, nicknames and rituals) that are different from those in the subculture of which it is a part.

2. The culture of a small group, such as a sports team. The idioculture consists of a system of knowledge, beliefs, behaviours, and customs shared by members of the group.

http://www.answers.c...pic/idioculture



I think Wood Cicle dude above you got it right.

We are NOT a small group. The fact that there are nearly a million active caches all over the world proves that.

However, there are idiocultures within geocaching as well. I.E. Some geocontinuums advocate multiple finds on event caches to get credit for event temps while others certainly do not. Some geocontinuums are densly seeded with p&g film cans every 528+ feet while others would hound them into archiving a less than local standard hide. Idiocultures stick out like a sore thumb at mega events. They often wear matching shirts and set up their own tent as a gathering place.


I wish I was as smart as that Wood Cicle guy.

#36 User is offline   CacheCoeur 

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 06:46 AM

Subculture, idioculture...it could be anything depending on the theory one is looking at...
I prefer thinking of geocaching as a consumption tribe. It's a really convenient explanation of it for a consumer culture scholar :)

"Active and enthusiastic in their consumption, sometimes in the extreme, tribes produce a range of identities, practices, rituals, meanings, and even material culture itself. They re-script roles, twist meanings, and shout back to producers and other groups of people while they fashion their own differentiation strategies. They both absorb and resist the pre-packaged, off-the-shelf, brand-and-product meanings of marketers.
They differ from traditional tribes in an anthropological sense in one important way; we belong to many little tribes and not one tribe. From this perspective the consumption of cultural resources circulated through markets (brands, leisure experiences, and so on) are not the sine qua non of contemporary life, rather, they facilitate what are – meaningful social relationships."

And here's the source: Consumer Tribes

#37 User is offline   Snoogans 

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  Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:45 AM

View PostCacheCoeur, on Apr 29 2010, 09:46 AM, said:

And here's the source: Consumer Tribes


Okay, THAT is fascinating. Just from what I skimmed, I think you're onto something. I can't wait until I have time to read it all.

#38 User is offline   Chokecherry 

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 01:52 PM

Having done numerous papers and little research things on sub and counter cultures I agree with the others. Trying to turn this hobby into something bigger than what it is just isn't going to work. There isn't an over riding belief or value system for this group, more over what you will find in this forum is just a tiny sample of the people who actually do this. There are like groups in this forum that think very similarly but then again there are the outliers.

There are commercialized symbols and logos associated with this but that is in part marketing... that's like saying everyone who wears nike shoes is a culture.

There is a language to a degree.

But over riding belief and value systems? No. That is clear if you look through any thread here.

#39 User is offline   Vater_Araignee 

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

There is nothing that says we are a subculture, other than some misguided beliefs as to what a subculture is.
the only thing we agree on is that we are searching for something. Hence all the bring virts back threads.
We cant agree on what constitutes a find only that we have the right to delete a log if we know that the finder didn't sign it. You have CO that circumvent no virts that way.
There may be subcultures that develop within the larger community around a specific practice or two but as a whole we are all too different from each other to be considered a subculture.
Some of use are social butterflies others carry Raid.
Some of us are so anti commercialism that the only support we give GS is with our premium membership others wont go that far and others still buy memberships for everyone in their family and only buy branded containers.

But this is coming from the guy who picks on goths yet gets accused of being one and refuses to set foot in a goth club unless he is working.

#40 User is offline   Chrysalides 

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:23 AM

Having nominated vodka as the Spirit of Geocaching, can I nominate yogurt for Geocaching Culture? The ones with blueberries in it, of course.

#41 User is offline   Vater_Araignee 

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 08:55 PM

View PostChrysalides, on Apr 30 2010, 10:23 AM, said:

Having nominated vodka as the Spirit of Geocaching, can I nominate yogurt for Geocaching Culture? The ones with blueberries in it, of course.

You nominate it and I'll nominate mold/mould.

#42 User is offline   Chrysalides 

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:32 PM

View PostVater_Araignee, on Apr 30 2010, 09:55 PM, said:

You nominate it and I'll nominate mold/mould.

If you're referring to cheese, I'll withdraw my nomination and second yours - as long as it is not blue cheese.

As for the OP's topic, well, I think it might be best studied from the outside rather than from the inside. Especially if we're talking about blue cheese. And there are also regional differences and such.

#43 User is offline   Vater_Araignee 

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:34 PM

View PostChrysalides, on Apr 30 2010, 09:32 PM, said:

View PostVater_Araignee, on Apr 30 2010, 09:55 PM, said:

You nominate it and I'll nominate mold/mould.

If you're referring to cheese, I'll withdraw my nomination and second yours - as long as it is not blue cheese.

As for the OP's topic, well, I think it might be best studied from the outside rather than from the inside. Especially if we're talking about blue cheese. And there are also regional differences and such.

I was thinking more along the lines of log books but :ph34r: cheese :) will do.

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