Environmental Anthropology: A Historical Reader / Edition 1

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Environmental Anthropology: A Reader is a collection of historically significant readings, dating from early in the twentieth century up to the present, on the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environment.

  • Provides the historical perspective that is typically missing from recent work in environmental anthropology
  • Includes an extensive intellectual history and commentary by the volume’s editors
  • Offers a unique perspective on current interest in cross-cultural environmental relations
  • Divided into five thematic sections: (1) the nature/culture divide; (2) relationship between environment and social organization; (3) methodological debates and innovations; (4) politics and practice; and (5) epistemological issues of environmental anthropology
  • Organized into a series of paired papers, which ‘speak’ to each other, designed to encourage readers to make connections that they might not customarily make
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Environmental Anthropology is a rich addition to Blackwell’s successful series of Anthologies in social and cultural anthropology. It intends to give historical and theoretical depth to the largely crisis-driven work in this burgeoning sub-field of anthropology. The eight-five page introduction and bibliography map out a cyclical development of a branch of anthropology which seems ever more relevant, given contemporary concerns about environmental degradation, climate change, peak oil, and resource-related conflict.  The editors, Michael R. Dove and Carol Carpenter, are well positioned to present these extremely wide-ranging selections of works defined by their timeless relevance. Dove and Carpenter have done a formidable job in providing what is likely to become a key textbook in specialized courses on environmental anthropology and a rich reference for anybody interested in the multifarious ways in which humans have lived and shaped their worlds.” (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December 2009)

“This reader provides an excellent sampling of classic anthropological writings on human ecology and environments. A truly comprehensive survey of the field and a range of genuine classics … articles that deserve their wide reputation. In comparison with other readers on this general topic, the present one focuses on truly influential, widely cited works and is more balanced and comprehensive. Very highly recommended for courses in environmental or ecological anthropology, conservation biology, and human ecology. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.” (Choice, November 2008)

"Anthropology has a long and rich history of efforts to make sense of human societies in relation to their natural environments, and this edited collection, by Michael Dove and Carol Carpenter of Yale University, is an important contribution to that history. I strongly recommend the book to environmental scientists and conservation practitioners as a source of ideas about the human dimension of the things they care about." (Environment Conservation, 2008)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael R. Dove is Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology, Professor of Anthropology, Curator of Anthropology at the Peabody Museum, and Coordinator of the joint doctoral program in anthropology and environmental studies, Yale University. He is the author of numerous books and papers on the anthropology of conservation and development. His most recent book is Conserving Nature in Culture: Case Studies from Southeast Asia (co-edited with P. Sajise and A. Doolittle, 2005).

Carol Carpenter is Senior Lecturer in Social Ecology and Anthropology, Yale University. Her teaching and research focus on theories of social ecology; social aspects of sustainable development and conservation; and gender in agrarian and ecological systems.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables.

Editors' Biographical Information.



Text Credits.

Introduction: Major Historical Currents in Environmental Anthropology: Michael R. Dove and Carol Carpenter.

Part I: The Nature-Culture Dichotomy:.

Questioning the Nature-Culture Dichotomy: From Posey’s Indigenous Knowledge to Fairhead and Leach’s Politics of Knowledge.

1. Indigenous Management of Tropical Forest Ecosystems: The Case of the Kayapó Indians of the Brazilian Amazon: Darrell Posey.

2. False Forest History, Complicit Social Analysis: Rethinking Some West African Environmental Narratives: James Fairhead and Melissa Leach.

How Cattle Problematize the Nature-Culture Divide: From Evans-Pritchard’s “Cattle Complex” to Harris’ 'Sacred Cows' and Beyond.

3. Interest in Cattle: E. E. Evans-Pritchard.

4. The Cultural Ecology of India’s Sacred Cattle: Marvin Harris.

Part II: Ecology And Social Organization:.

Early Essays on Social Organization and Ecology: Mauss and Steward.

5. Seasonal Variations of the Eskimo: A Study in Social Morphology: Marcel Mauss.

6. The Great Basin Shoshonean Indians: An Example of a Family Level of Sociocultural Integration: Julian H. Steward.

Beyond Steward: 'Ecosystems with Human Beings in Them' in Barth and Geertz.

7. Ecologic Relationships of Ethnic Groups in Swat, North Pakistan: Fredrik Barth.

8. The Wet and the Dry: Traditional Irrigation in Bali and Morocco: Clifford Geertz.

“Natural” Disasters and Social Order: Response and Revelation in Firth and Waddell.

9. Critical Pressures on Food Supply and Their Economic Effects: Raymond Firth.

10. How the Enga Cope with Frost: Responses to Climatic Perturbations in the Central Highlands of New Guinea: Eric Waddell.

Part III: Methodological Challenges And Debates:.

Ethnoecology and the Defense of Swidden Agriculture: Conklin and Carneiro.

11. An Ethnoecological Approach to Shifting Agriculture: Harold Conklin.

12. Slash-and-Burn Agriculture: A Closer Look at Its Implications for Settlement Patterns: Robert L. Carneiro.

Natural Science Models of Resource-Use: From Rappaport’s Cybernetics to the Optimal Foraging of Hawkes, Hill, and O’Connell.

13. Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations Among a New Guinea People: Roy A. Rappaport.

14. Why Hunters Gather: Optimal Foraging and the Ache of Eastern Paraguay: Kristen Hawkes, Kim Hill and James F. O’Connell.

The Bounded and Balanced Community: Solway and Lee, and Netting.

15. Foragers, Genuine or Spurious?: Situating the Kalahari San in History: Jacqueline S. Solway and Richard B. Lee.

16. Links and Boundaries: Reconsidering the Alpine Village as Ecosystem: Robert McC. Netting.

Part IV: The Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment:.

Indigeneity and Natural Resource Politics: Ellen and Li.

17. Forest Knowledge, Forest Transformation: Political Contingency, Historical Ecology and the Renegotiation of Nature in Central Seram: Roy Ellen.

18. Articulating Indigenous Identity in Indonesia: Resource Politics and the Tribal Slot: Tania M. Li.

Environmental Campaigns and Collaborations: Brosius and Tsing.

19. Green Dots, Pink Hearts: Displacing Politics from the Malaysian Rain Forest: J. Peter Brosius.

20. Becoming a Tribal Elder, and Other Green Development Fantasies: Anna L. Tsing.

Part V: Knowing the Environment:.

Social Identity and Perception of the Landscape: Frake and Bloch.

21. People into Places: Zafimaniry Concepts of Clarity: Maurice Bloch.

22. Pleasant Places, Past Times, and Sheltered Identity in Rural East Anglia: Charles O. Frake.

The Limits of Knowledge and Its Implications for Understanding Environmental Relations: Bateson and Ingold.

23. Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation: Gregory Bateson.

24. Globes and Spheres: The Topology of Environmentalism: Tim Ingold.

Index of Subjects.

Index of Names

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