Anthropology And Climate Change: From Encounters To Actions


The first book to comprehensively assess anthropology’s engagement with climate change, this pioneering volume both maps out exciting trajectories for research and issues a call to action. Chapters in part one are systematic research reviews, covering the relationship between culture and climate from prehistoric times to the present; changing anthropological discourse on climate and environment; the diversity of environmental and sociocultural changes currently occurring around the globe; and the unique ...
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The first book to comprehensively assess anthropology’s engagement with climate change, this pioneering volume both maps out exciting trajectories for research and issues a call to action. Chapters in part one are systematic research reviews, covering the relationship between culture and climate from prehistoric times to the present; changing anthropological discourse on climate and environment; the diversity of environmental and sociocultural changes currently occurring around the globe; and the unique methodological and epistemological tools anthropologists bring to bear on climate research. Part two includes a series of case studies that highlights leading-edge research—including some unexpected and provocative findings. Part three challenges scholars to be proactive on the front lines of climate change, providing instruction on how to work in with research communities, with innovative forms of communication, in higher education, in policy environments, as individuals, and in other critical arenas. Linking sophisticated knowledge to effective actions, Anthropology and Climate Change is essential for students and scholars in anthropology and environmental studies.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This effectively organized, crisply presented, and compellingly argued book is essential reading for everyone concerned about the impact of climate change on human communities around the world, and for readers of any background seeking to understand the unique and critical contributions of anthropology to these important questions. The list of contributors, with their highly varied interests and accomplishments, makes clear that anthropologists have been working on issues of environmental change and sustainability for decades, and that their contributions focus on precisely the kinds of questions that have been relatively neglected in the physical sciences of the environment. With its close attention to strategy and tactics, Anthropology and Climate Change will serve as a major resource for anthropologists looking for conceptual and practical tools by which they might refocus their work so as to contribute more effectively to these major debates of our day." --Population and Development Review, Susan Greenhalgh

"The issues surrounding climate change loom large in the research agendas of many disciplines. Here, Crate (George Mason Univ.) and Nuttall (Univ. of Alberta) speak to fellow cultural anthropologists to illuminate realized and potential roles for them in this field. The volume contains three parts: "Climate and Culture," "Anthropological Encounters," and "Anthropological Actions." The book opens with four review chapters covering climate change in prehistory and recorded history, and earlier anthropological discourse relating to the environment. The areas of inquiry in anthropological climate change research are established as peoples' perceptions, knowledge, valuation, and responses or adaptations to the changes. Eleven short case studies recount field-based research worldwide. Most of the authors endorse livelihood analysis as a focus for climate change effects on indigenous cultures. The remaining nine chapters articulate active roles for anthropologists in policy making. New research topics, such as the consumer and car cultures, are introduced, as are ways to integrate climate change into interdisciplinary collaborations, curriculum development, and community outreach. Contributions are well written and documented, and they hold provocative ideas for research and action by students and professional anthropologists alike. Summing Up: Highly recommended." --CHOICE

" This book is a leap forward in our understanding of how societies around the globe perceive and adapt to climate change from the perspective of their own unique socio-cultural framework. It introduces concepts which advance the discussions of human adaptations to climate change from the realm of an esoteric intellectual debate about past societies, to one of pressing and immediate relevance for our modern world. " - Arlene Miller Rosen, UCL Institute of Archaeology and author of Civilizing Climate

"Readers will benefit from the collective insight provided by diverse examples of how indigenous communities have fought to build or retain control over the resources, knowledge, and the lifeways that have sustained them through the 'becoming' of the ever changing world they inhabit. Climate researchers, policy makers, and students of all disciplines will find the narratives and insights within this volume both encouraging and thought-provoking as we all discover our role in 'imagining a culture of the near future that intelligently and responsibly' faces climate change and helping our research partners to negotiate successfully through this time." - Zareen Pervez Bharucha, Sibirica

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598743333
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan A. Crate is an anthropologist in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and author of Cows, Kin and Globalization: The Ethnography of Sustainability (AltaMira Press 2006)Mark Nuttall holds the Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta. He is editor of the landmark, three-volume Encyclopedia of the Arctic (Routledge 2005) and author or editor of many other books.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Anthropology and Climate Change Susan A. Crate Mark Nuttall 9

Part 1 Climate and Culture

1 Human Agency, Climate Change, and Culture: An Archaeological Perspective Fekri A. Hassan 39

2 Climate and Weather Discourse in Anthropology: From Determinism to Uncertain Futures Nicole Peterson Kenneth Broad 70

3 Fielding Climate Change in Cultural Anthropology Carla Roncoli Todd Crane Ben Orlove 87

4 Climate Change and Population Displacement: Disasters and Diasporas in the Twenty-first Century Anthony Oliver-Smith 116

Part 2 Anthropological Encounters

5 Gone the Bull of Winter? Contemplating Climate Change's Cultural Implications in Northeastern Siberia, Russia Susan A. Crate 139

6 Sea Ice: The Sociocultural Dimensions of a Melting Environment in the Arctic Anne Henshaw 153

7 Global Models, Local Risks: Responding to Climate Change in the Swiss Alps Sarah Strauss 166

8 Storm Warnings: The Role of Anthropology in Adapting to Sea-Level Rise in Southwestern Bangladesh Timothy Finan 175

9 Salmon Nation: Climate Change and Tribal Sovereignty Benedict J. Colombi 186

10 Global Averages, Local Extremes: The Subtleties and Complexities of Climate Change in Papua New Guinea Jerry Jacka 197

11 Talking and Not Talking about Climate Change in Northwestern Alaska Elizabeth Marino Peter Schweitzer 209

12 Opal Waters, Rising Seas: How Sociocultural Inequality Reduces Resilience to Climate Change among Indigenous Australians Donna Green 218

13 The Glaciers of the Andes are Melting: Indigenous and Anthropological Knowledge Merge in Restoring Water Resources Inge Bolin 228

14 The Governance of Vulnerability: Climate Changeand Agency in Tuvalu, South Pacific Heather Lazrus 240

15 From Local to Global: Perceptions and Realities of Environmental Change Among Kalahari San Robert K. Hitchcock 250

Part 3 Anthropological Actions

16 Consuming Ourselves to Death: The Anthropology of Consumer Culture and Climate Change Richard Wilk 265

17 Global Change Policymaking from Inside the Beltway: Engaging Anthropology Shirley J. Fiske 277

18 Living in a World of Movement: Human Resilience to Environmental Instability in Greenland Environmental Instability in Greenland Mark Nuttall 292

19 Where Managerial and Scientific Knowledge Meet Sociocultural Systems: Local Realities, Global Responsibilities P. J. Puntenney 311

20 Participatory Action Research: Community Partnership with Social and Physical Scientists Gregory V. Button Kristina Peterson 327

21 Terms of Engagement: An Arctic Perspective on the Narratives and Politics of Global Climate Change Noel D. Broadbent Patrik Lantto 341

22 Shifting the University: Faculty Engagement and Curriculum Change Peggy F. Barlett Benjamin Stewart 356

23 Car Culture and Decision-Making: Choice and Climate Change Lenora Bohren 370

24 Anthropologists Engaging in Climate Change Education and Outreach: Curating. Thin Ice-Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment A. Nicole Stuckenberger 380

Epilogue: Anthropology, Science, and Climate Change Policy Susan A. Crate Mark Nuttall 394

About the Contributors 401

Index 408

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