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Negative perception of, and discomfort when in contact with, the ecological environment in the natural world has been termed ecophobia (Sobel, 1999), and researchers have called attention to the transference of simple lack of interest in natural environments to discomfort and fear caused by a lack of experience with nature (Estok, 2015; Gray, 2013; McKnight, 2010; Sobel, 1999).
People with ecophobia may even hate or be driven crazy by the wilderness.
In a 2012 article on ecophobia, Matthew Taylor writes, "Our attempts at dominating nature, in other words, are the inevitable reflex of our fear that it can destroy us; we, supposedly ontologically superior, must control or be controlled, kill or be killed, progress or die" (353).
Theorizing in a Space of Ambivalent Openness: Ecocriticism and Ecophobia.
Estok, Simon (2009), "Theorizing in a Space of Ambivalent Openness: Ecocriticism and Ecophobia," Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 16(2): 203-225.
Estok, Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia (New York, 2011), 1-17, http://dx.
While this stand does reveal ecophobia, such is not their main topic; rather, they exhibit this ecophobia inadvertently.
David Sobel's writing in Beyond Ecophobia and on place-based education have helped inform the remainder of my strategies.
The Woodshed: A Response to 'Ecocriticism and Ecophobia.
Estok first garnered significant notice for "ecophobia" in an essay titled "Theorizing in a Space of Ambivalent Openness: Ecocriticism and Ecophobia," published in ISLE, the flagship journal for ecocriticism in the United States.
This may also represent an increasing level of ecophobia, or fear of nature.
Ecophobia, time constraints, inadequate funding, and limited knowledge of nature are also given nods as credible barriers to opportunities for children to engage with nature.
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