Caring for Place: Ecology, Ideology, and Emotion in Traditional Landscape Management

Caring for Place: Ecology, Ideology, and Emotion in Traditional Landscape Management

by E N Anderson
     
 

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How can cultural forms motivate people to care about their environment? While important scientific data about ecosystems is mushrooming, E. N. Anderson argues in this powerful new book that putting effective conservation into practice depends primarily on social solidarity and emotional factors. Marshaling decades of research on cultures across several continents,

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Overview

How can cultural forms motivate people to care about their environment? While important scientific data about ecosystems is mushrooming, E. N. Anderson argues in this powerful new book that putting effective conservation into practice depends primarily on social solidarity and emotional factors. Marshaling decades of research on cultures across several continents, he shows how societies have been more or less successful in sustainably managing their environments based on collective engagements such as religion, art, song, myth, and story. This provocative and deeply felt book by a leading writer and scholar in human ecology and anthropology will be read and debated widely for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Gene Anderson has been one of the best and most consistent observers of the relationships between human societies and local ecologies for the better part of the past six decades. In Caring for Place, Anderson once again provides us with a kaleidoscope look at how cultures around the world are interrelated with their environments. The amount of ethnographic and historical material provided is impressive, with particular attention paid to the cultures of China, the Yucatec Maya, and Medieval Ireland. The truism that ideology and emotion are central to any human-in-environment interaction is one that is too often overlooked by environmental researchers. This book shows us definitively that if we are going to transition to sustainable societies, which we must, caring for our place is how to start.”

—James R. Veteto, University of North Texas

“In this powerful and engaging book, Gene Anderson, one of the most widely read and experienced human ecologists/anthropologists working today, shows us the power and significance of basic attitudes such as this toward environmental sustainability vs. collapse. Having first-hand experience in cultures and societies in several world areas, his comparisons can be and are wide-ranging, and often dispel myths as to how past and contemporary societies have and still are managing their worlds—with some obvious lessons. A highly motivating 'must read' for those who care about today’s environmental crises.”

—Catherine S. Fowler, Foundation Professor Emerita, University of Nevada, Reno

"This is an awesome distillation and synthesis of decades of teaching and research by a most prominent ecological anthropologist. Anderson (emer., University of California, Riverside) grounds the book in his fieldwork in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Central America, California, and the Northwest Coast. Firsthand information is integrated with material from an extensive literature. ... Anderson's primary thesis is that beliefs and emotions, as well as knowledge and reason, can be critical in traditional land and resource management, often motivating and facilitating sustainability and conservation, although not always. Nature has intrinsic value, and people tend to be fascinated with its beauty, which may be reflected in their arts. Valuing simplicity, efficiency, diversity, and solidarity are keys to sustainability. The rich abundance of sound knowledge and deep wisdon here should be read as widely as possible. Summing Up: Essential."

—L.E. Sponsel, emeritus, University of Hawai'i

“While similar works within the genre of ethnobiology and traditional landscape management often focus on a specific region, Caring for Place is unique in its breadth. … We have a monumental task ahead of us, and Caring for Place is a valuable signpost on the road to its accomplishment.”

—Sarah Townshend, Environment and Society

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611329599
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/31/2014
Pages:
305
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

E. N. Anderson is Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at the University of California, Riverside. He has done research on ethnobiology, cultural ecology, political ecology, and medical anthropology in several areas, especially Hong Kong, British Columbia, California, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. His books include The Food of China (Yale University Press, 1988), Ecologies of the Heart (Oxford University Press, 1996), Political Ecology of a Yucatec Maya Community (University Press of Arizona Press, 2005) and The Pursuit of Ecotopia (Praeger, 2010). In 2013 he received the Distinguished Ethnobiology Award from the Society for Ethnobiology.

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