Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Alice Fothergill

Second Advisor

Jennifer Strickler


outdoor, gender, language, leadership


College is a time in many young adults’ lives when they are challenging their previous beliefs, learning new norms, and trying different activities. Once on campus, students are able to choose to participate in various clubs. At the University of Vermont (UVM), outdoor clubs are especially popular, but the culture of these types of groups has not been studied very extensively. In this study, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, I examine the culture -- the goals, norms, and language -- of the clubs and how club membership is experienced by the member leaders. These clubs constitute a contested site as they bring together a traditionally male-dominated activity -- risk-taking adventure in the outdoors -- with a group of youth poised to challenge traditional gender norms and expectations. This thesis presents a sociological analysis of the culture of two outdoor clubs, the Outing Club and Kayak Club, on the University of Vermont campus, with a specific focus on three elements of the clubs: leadership, language, and gender.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.