Collective Psychological Ownership in Large Carnivore Conflicts

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The theoretical concept of psychological ownership has been introduced to large carnivore management to improve the understanding of conservation conflict situations. We examined the emergence of collective psychological ownership among established stakeholders in large carnivore conflicts; conservationists, hunters and primary producers. The journal articles of these stakeholders were collected from the three three-year periods; 1993-1995, 2003-2005 and 2013-2015 to reveal the manifestation of three routes leading to the feeling of psychological ownership, i.e. controlling the target, gaining intimate knowledge of it, and investing oneself in it. These three time-periods enable the comparison of the manifestation of PO in different normative and legislative surroundings. We could show via media texts how stakeholders supported and strengthened these routes that build up the sense of collective psychological ownership towards large carnivores. In the second phase, we examined how psychological ownership manifested in media texts in conflict situations. Primary producers supported the psychological ownership of hunters whereas PO of hunters and PO of conservationists were in conflict. Hunters and conservationists expressed defensive territorial behavior and knowledge hoarding to retain control over wolves and to maintain group’s wolf related identity. This has impeded cooperation and hindered conservation efforts. Whose ownership feelings are respected and supported by laws and norms is ultimately a political choice. It has to be noted, though, that laws and norms may just be brakes or challenges but not actual barriers to developing or maintaining psychological ownership towards species.
Translated title of the contributionKollektiivinen psykologinen omistajuus suurpetokonflikteissa
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventPathways Europe 2018: Resurrecting the Wild!? - Goslar, Germany
Duration: 16 Sep 201820 Sep 2018


ConferencePathways Europe 2018: Resurrecting the Wild!?

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