In recent years, the field of study variously called local, indigenous or traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) has experienced a crisis brought about by the questioning of some of its basic assumptions. This has included reassessing notions that scientific methods can accurately elicit and describe TEK or that incorporating it into development projects will improve the physical, social or economic well-being of marginalized peoples. The contributors to this volume argue that to accurately and appropriately describe TEK, the historical and political forces that have shaped it, as well as people’s day-to-day engagement with the landscape around them must be taken into account. TEK thus emerges, not as an easily translatable tool for development experts, but as a rich and complex element of contemporary lives that should be defined and managed by indigenous and local peoples themselves.
In order to move global society towards a sustainable "ecotopia," solutions must be engaged in specific places and communities, and the authors here argue for re-orienting environmental anthropology from a problem-oriented towards a solutions-focused endeavor. Using case studies from around the world, the contributors-scholar-activists and activist-practitioners- examine the interrelationships between three prominent environmental social movements: bioregionalism, a worldview and political ecology that grounds environmental action and experience; permaculture, a design science for putting the bioregional vision into action; and ecovillages, the ever-dynamic settings for creating sustainable local cultures.
Author: Pauline von Hellermann
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2013-09-30
Genre: Social Science
Governance failure and corruption are increasingly identified as key causes of tropical deforestation. In Nigeria's Edo State, once the showcase of scientific forestry in West Africa, large-scale forest conversion and the virtual depletion of timber stocks are invariably attributed to recent failures in forest management, and are seen as yet another instance of how "things fall apart" in Nigeria. Through an in-depth historical and ethnographic study of forestry in Edo State, this book challenges this routine linking of political and ecological crisis narratives. It shows that the roots of many of today's problems lie in scientific forest management itself, rather than its recent abandonment, and moreover that many "illegal" local practices improve rather than reduce biodiversity and forest cover. The book therefore challenges preconceptions about contemporary Nigeria and highlights the need to reevaluate current understandings of what constitutes "good governance" in tropical forestry.
Computer programs and processes that take into account the goals and needs of the user meet with the greatest success, so it behooves software engineers to consider the human element inherent in every line of code they write. Human Factors in Software Development and Design brings together high quality research on the influence and impact of ordinary people on the software industry. With the goal of improving the quality and usability of computer technologies, this premier reference is intended for students and practitioners of software engineering as well as researchers, educators, and interested laymen.
Author: Roy Ellen
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2013-08-30
Genre: Social Science
The concept of "cultural transmission" is central to much contemporary anthropological theory, since successful human reproduction through social systems is essential for effective survival and for enhancing the adaptiveness of individual humans and local populations. Yet, what is understood by the phrase and how it might best be studied is highly contested. This book brings together contributions that reflect the current diversity of approaches - from the fields of biology, primatology, palaeoanthropology, psychology, social anthropology, ethnobiology, and archaeology - to examine social and cultural transmission from a range of perspectives and at different scales of generalization. The comprehensive introduction explores some of the problems and connections. Overall, the book provides a timely synthesis of current accounts of cultural transmission in relation to cognitive process, practical action, and local socio-ecological context, while linking these with explanations of longer-term evolutionary trajectories.
Author: John A. Parrotta
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2011-10-14
Exploring a topic of vital and ongoing importance, Traditional Forest Knowledge examines the history, current status and trends in the development and application of traditional forest knowledge by local and indigenous communities worldwide. It considers the interplay between traditional beliefs and practices and formal forest science and interrogates the often uneasy relationship between these different knowledge systems. The contents also highlight efforts to conserve and promote traditional forest management practices that balance the environmental, economic and social objectives of forest management. It places these efforts in the context of recent trends towards the devolution of forest management authority in many parts of the world. The book includes regional chapters covering North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Australia-Pacific region. As well as relating the general factors mentioned above to these specific areas, these chapters cover issues of special regional significance, such as the importance of traditional knowledge and practices for food security, economic development and cultural identity. Other chapters examine topics ranging from key policy issues to the significant programs of regional and international organisations, and from research ethics and best practices for scientific study of traditional knowledge to the adaptation of traditional forest knowledge to climate change and globalisation.
Author: Anthony B. Cunningham
Release Date: 2012-06-25
Many mushrooms - or the 'fruits of fungi' - are extremely valuable, wild-gathered products which are utilised for both their medicinal properties and as food. In many of the world's tropical and temperate forests, they are the primary source of income for the people who live there. These forests range from temperate woodlands and small forests to high altitude forests in the Himalaya and tropical miombo woodlands in south-central Africa. In south-west China, over 200 species of wild fungi in 64 genera are commercially traded while in Europe and North America, woodlands and small forests are the source of many highly-prized mushrooms and an essential resource for many small enterprises and collectors. Yet the increased demand for timber has resulted in the rapid expansion of forestry, which in turn has destroyed the natural habitat of many fungi, unbalancing both forest economics and ecology. Despite the economic, social and cultural values of fungi, there is a general lack of understanding of their importance to local livelihoods and forest ecology. This book aims to fill this gap and extends the People and Plants Conservation Series beyond the plant kingdom into the related world of fungi and mushrooms. It demonstrates the crucial roles that fungi play in maintaining forest ecosystems and the livelihoods of rural people throughout the world while providing good practice guidelines for the sustainable management of this resource and an assessment of economic value. It brings together the perspectives of biologists, anthropologists and forest and woodland managers to provide a unique inter-disciplinary and international overview of the key issues.
Ethnobiology and ethnoecology have become very popular in recent years. Particularly in the last 20 years, many manuals of methods have published the most classical approaches to the subject. There have been, however, many advances in research as a result of interaction with different disciplines, but also due to more recent results, new original and interesting questions. This handbook provides the current state of the art methods and techniques in ethnobiology and ethnoecology, and related fields. This new volume, besides bringing new and original aspects of what is found in the literature, fills some of the gaps in volume one by including the most systematic and extensive treatment of methods and techniques in qualitative research. Along with the various methods covered in the individual chapters, the handbook also includes an extensive bibliography that details the current literature in the field.
Ethnobiology is a fascinating science. To understand this vocation it needs to be studied under an evolutionary point of view that is very strong and significant, although this aspect is often poorly approached in the literature. This is the first book to compile and discuss information about evolutionary ethnobiology in English.
Author: David Lawrence Peterson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 1995
The Far North, a land of extreme weather and intense beauty, is the only region of North America whose ecosystems have remained reasonably intact. Humans are newcomers there and nature predominates. As is widely known, recent changes in the Earth's atmosphere have the potential to create rapid climatic shifts in our lifetime and well into the future. These changes, a product of southern industrial society, will have the greatest impact on ecosystems at northern latitudes, which until now have remained largely undisturbed. In this fragile balance, as terrestrial and aquatic habitats change, animal and human populations will be irrevocably altered. The first of its kind, this book explores how global change might affect the ecosystems and cultures of the Far North during the next century. It brings together biologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and resource managers to contribute their diverse knowledge and insight in a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to this important topic. The book takes an objective look into the future and offers suggestions for further research. It is meant to be a positive step toward sound future managerial policy in this region. Some of the areas covered include demography and socioeconomics, wildlife biology, ethnography and archeology, global warming, meteorology and climatic modeling, environmental values, and resource use and management. As is true everywhere, human populations in the Far North are undergoing profound change, and the challenges faced are spiritual as well as social and behavioral. A careful look at this region's human ecology, the study of humanity in relation to environment and other living things, is more critical now than ever before. To anyone who cares about the future and what is happening to the land in which we live, the ideas presented here are exciting as well as sobering, and will stimulate further interest and concern for the northern third of our planet.
Author: Gisa Weszkalnys
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2013-10-15
Genre: Social Science
A benchmark study in the changing field of urban anthropology, Berlin, Alexanderplatz is an ethnographic examination of the rapid transformation of the unified Berlin. Through a captivating account of the controversy around this symbolic public square in East Berlin, the book raises acute questions about expertise, citizenship, government and belonging. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city administration bureaus, developers’ offices, citizen groups and in Alexanderplatz itself, the author advances a richly innovative analysis of the multiplicity of place. She reveals how Alexanderplatz is assembled through the encounters between planners, citizen activists, social workers, artists and ordinary Berliners, in processes of popular participation and personal narratives, in plans, timetables, documents and files, and in the distribution of pipes, tram tracks and street lights. Alexanderplatz emerges as a socialist spatial exemplar, a ‘future’ under construction, an object of grievance, and a vision of robust public space. This book is both a critical contribution to the anthropology of contemporary modernity and a radical intervention in current cross-disciplinary debates on the city.
Author: Nora Haenn
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2016-04-26
Genre: Social Science
The Environment in Anthropology presents ecology and current environmental studies from an anthropological point of view. From the classics to the most current scholarship, this text connects the theory and practice in environment and anthropology, providing readers with a strong intellectual foundation as well as offering practical tools for solving environmental problems. Haenn, Wilk, and Harnish pose the most urgent questions of environmental protection: How are environmental problems mediated by cultural values? What are the environmental effects of urbanization? When do environmentalists’ goals and actions conflict with those of indigenous peoples? How can we assess the impact of “environmentally correct” businesses? They also cover the fundamental topics of population growth, large scale development, biodiversity conservation, sustainable environmental management, indigenous groups, consumption, and globalization. This revised edition addresses new topics such as water, toxic waste, neoliberalism, environmental history, environmental activism, and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and it situates anthropology in the multi-disciplinary field of environmental research. It also offers readers a guide for developing their own plan for environmental action. This volume offers an introduction to the breadth of ecological and environmental anthropology as well as to its historical trends and current developments. Balancing landmark essays with cutting-edge scholarship, bridging theory and practice, and offering suggestions for further reading and new directions for research, The Environment in Anthropology continues to provide the ideal introduction to a burgeoning field. Instructor's Guide
Author: Philippe Descola
Release Date: 2003-12-16
Genre: Social Science
The contributors to this book focus on the relationship between nature and society from a variety of theoretical and ethnographic perspectives. Their work draws upon recent developments in social theory, biology, ethnobiology, epistemology, sociology of science, and a wide array of ethnographic case studies -- from Amazonia, the Solomon Islands, Malaysia, the Mollucan Islands, rural comunities from Japan and north-west Europe, urban Greece, and laboratories of molecular biology and high-energy physics. The discussion is divided into three parts, emphasising the problems posed by the nature-culture dualism, some misguided attempts to respond to these problems, and potential avenues out of the current dilemmas of ecological discourse.
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.