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Who Are These Geocachers, Anyway?


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It occurred to me that all of the cachers I've met have been your basic 'English'. White, Anglo-Saxon, middle class and very pleasant and friendly ;)

 

Perhaps I've just missed all the other, more genetically/culturally diverse cachers. Or perhaps they don't exist in the UK. Any thoughts?

 

SP

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Personally I don't consider myself to be middle class. I am working class. Alas however, I am white.

 

Whats the distrubition of Male and Female like?

 

At the weekend I realised that I was actually rather vunerable as a lone female wandering the woods at 0630. Must remember to take an attack alarm with me in future.

 

J

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What's the point in this thread?

If you cache around Central to South England, the people you are going to meet are very likely to fit your description (if you are comfortable putting people you don't know into a 'class').

 

If you go to Scotland I'm sure most cachers will only fit one of your stated demographics - although the personality traits are spot on ;) .

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What's the point of this thread? Idle curiosity. I'm not trying to make a point. :(

 

Does it matter? Not at all, or no more than it matters that there are no asian players in the professional football league - Depending on your point of view. It just seems odd to me that of the many dozens of cachers I've met, there's not been anyone that didn't fit the very broad description, above. I have taken a Pakistani girlfriend caching, but I'm not sure that counts.

 

In a country whose population is made up of over 11% non WASPs, and I've not met (or even know of, to the best of my knowledge) one who caches, perhaps Geocaching is open to accusations of racism. I personally don't think it is, but you can understand why some people might have questions of that sort in their mind.

 

Of course, a 2nd generation Nigerian cacher with 280 finds would put me in my place. Step forward that lady or gentleman...

 

SP

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What's the point of this thread? Idle curiosity. I'm not trying to make a point. :(

 

Does it matter? Not at all, or no more than it matters that there are no asian players in the professional football league

Actually Harpal Singh is on the books for (and paid by) Leeds United and is likely to break through to the first team next season. (had a couple of games this season but is still only 16ish).

 

Wouldn't consider myself middle class, in fact not sure what class I would fit into (or which one would have me!). Still nothing wrong with a bit of idle curiosity.

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A known issue is that non-white UK citizens are far less interested in nature and countryside related activities. One reason is that they perceive hostility when they enter many predominantly white areas, and so avoid them. There are other reasons, and I am sure many a social research grant has been bid for on the subject.

 

What also might be of interest is to explore how many cachers live in the centres of large cities, for example.

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There was a feature on Countryfile about why relatively few people of South Asian descent go for walks in the country, after allowing for possible differences in disposable income and mobility.

 

I can't recall the conclusions from that programme - I don't think there were any - but when I asked an Indian friend of mine, he said, "Most of the immigrants in the UK come from poor rural backgrounds. The last thing you'd want to do if you'd moved to another country to try and improve your fortunes in the big city, would be to walk around the countryside. And anyway, it's always p***ing down and cold."

 

I guess a lot of us go to the countryside for our caching, rambling, etc, exactly because it is a change of scene. Maybe in another half a generation, we'll see waves of city-weary people of Bengali descent needing to get out of town.

 

One other reason I can think of is that the average Indian family with kids is probably more likely to spend time visiting Grandma at the weekend than us urban sophisticates, who live 300 miles from Grandma (1000km in my case). By extension, that would also explain why the French don't go geocaching - it gets in the way of lunch... :(

 

PS just on the point of "Anglo-Saxon": for some reason this term is used in the US to mean "most white people of European descent". Most people in the UK have more Norman blood in them than Angle or Saxon.

 

PPS: Again, the French have their own take on this: "Les pays Anglo-Saxon" is a (frequently pejorative) term used to lump together the UK, US, Canada, Australia, etc, which as far as many French people are concerned, act as a group (to impose English-speaking cultural hegemony, yada yada yada).

Edited by sTeamTraen
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Good news!

 

An email and the return of my memory (I'm ill - hence I have nothing better to do on a Wednesday morning than hang about on the forums) has lead me to not one, but two enthusiastic cachers who fall outside my general northern European race*. Woohoo! Still, it's not enough and I think more should be done to encourage cachers from other parts of the world (Kiwi's don't count unless they're Maori, sorry) to take part. Perhaps grandmothers could be made loggable, like trig points? :(

 

The above is not a racial slur, it's a joke. A harmless one I hope.

 

SP

 

*With a mother from the extreme north-east of England I probably have some Norse and Pict blood, and I know she has some Swiss ancestry too. My dad's family is from Laaandan, so there could be any genetic soup you can think of there. Anyone who's seen my nose in profile has thought 'Roman', and who knows? It is 'the family nose' and there was plenty of visitors and invaders of SE England long before the Normans.

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Not quite sure on this one.

 

My Ladyfriend occassionaly comes caching to keep me company (slow me down). She cannot understand the attraction of walking, never mind crawling under a bush for a tupperware bo.

 

I am white (when I wash) and from a working class background (not sure where to put myself now) and she is a Black Ugandan from a small village in the mountains bordering Rawanda. Thinks that having to walk 9 miles to school in the morning was enough walking for a lifetime.

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Actually Harpal Singh is on the books for (and paid by) Leeds United and is likely to break through to the first team next season. (had a couple of games this season but is still only 16ish).

Unfortunately this was the line people used when this subject came up quite a few years ago.

 

Today Harpal Singh is nearly 24, and can barely get a game for Stockport County who have just been relegated from League 1 to League 2 (the 4th Division in old money).

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Class disticnctions are blurred nowadays. Mongoose is a classic example of someone who is no longer pigeonhole-able (that SO should be a word). No idea what I am either, no qualifications, but skilled and proffessional in the modern sense of the word, but not in the traditional sense.

 

sTeamTraen, vous n'aiment pas un picnic a le weekend <_< ?

Edited by rutson
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There are no cultural barriers to geocaching, maybe some financial barriers.

 

So I would agree with you Paul, that Geocaching can not be accused of racism.

 

There are lots of vocations and pastimes that are particularly biased towards certain types of people and I think it just takes someone to 'discover' them and their peers will follow.

 

My occupation is largely dominated by white males. There are no barriers to entry and the company I work for advertises vacancies in all the relevant publications to reach other demographics. But still the uptake is very low. We are getting more girls/women/ladies (choose your preferred address) which is nice. <_< However, of about 400 people doing the job I do in the place I work, we have no Black people and I think only 2 Asian. My guess is that once we have a few role models, more people will follow.

 

I would say the same of Geocaching in the UK.

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Not ay 280 yet - only 84 but only been with you for 7 weeks or so.

 

Do I count SP?

You most certainly do Lester! Not long to the big 100 now. Any plans? <_<

 

I accept class is a bit of a grey issue in the UK now. I had a grandfather who was a miner, does that make me working class? I've never been fox hunting or played polo, which suggests I'm middle class. I hold no professional qualifications, but have more years experience in my field than a dozen recent graduates. It seems to me that class is more a reflection of goals and aspirations these days, and geocaching appears to fall neatly into a middle-England (with apologies to the Welsh, Scots and Irish) middle-class, middle-income bracket.

 

I genuinely wonder if more couldn't be done to promote caching as a pastime for all: Young and old, male and female, black, white, and more complicated than that.

 

"I have a dream. A dream of little black and white children playing a high-tech treasure hunt game together..."

 

SP

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It seems to me that class is more a reflection of goals and aspirations these days, and geocaching appears to fall neatly into a middle-England (with apologies to the Welsh, Scots and Irish) middle-class, middle-income bracket.

Shhh... don't say that, you'll have Messrs Blair/Howard/Kennedy knocking on the door for your Middle Englander vote. :laughing:

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