Survival of the preppers : an exploration into the culture of prepping
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This dissertation is an exploration of the culture of prepping in the Midwest. The research aims to provide a better understanding of why people engage in prepping and how they go about doing so. Thirteen preppers were interviewed during 2014 - 2016. Drawing upon Swidler’s (1986) definition of the cultural toolkit, the research offers an insight into how preppers construct a unique prepper cultural toolkit aimed at meeting their needs and solving a variety of problems in their lives. Why people become preppers and how preppers put together a set of ideas and practices that help them meet their perceived needs are outlined. How they deal with feelings of insecurity and what they do to increase their chances of survival are also explored. The data revealed the different types of practices that preppers engage in, the range of values, beliefs and behaviors and also how preppers drew symbolic boundaries. The findings show that preppers are retreating to the private sphere to find solutions to their individual concerns and are averse to relying on public entities or institutions to meet their needs.
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