Cécilia Claeys, Carole Barthelemy, Thierry Tatoni and Patrick Bonhomme
This article provides an interdisciplinary analysis of the notion of overuse in natural areas. Based on the case of the French Calanques massif (located along the Mediterranean coast between Marseilles and Cassis), sociology and biology combine their analyses to examine the social processes behind the increasingly widespread use of natural areas and the ecological consequences thereof. The data are comprised of interdisciplinary research based on eighty semi-structured interviews conducted on-site and 330 telephone survey questionnaires. We critically analyse of the notion of overuse and underscore the socio-economic, cultural and ideological weight it carries in the context of socio-natural change; this calls into question the relevance of the ancient nature/culture dichotomy. Drawing on theoretical tools from environmental sociology, this article also provides some perspectives for natural area managers.