Ethnographies of Conservation: Environmentalism and the Distribution of Privilege

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Anthropologists know that conservation often disempowers already under-privileged groups, and that it also fails to protect environments. Through a series of ethnographic studies, this book argues that the real problem is not the disappearance of "pristine nature" or even the land-use practices of uneducated people. Rather, what we know about culturally determined patterns of consumption, production and unequal distribution, suggests that critical attention would be better turned on discourses of "primitiveness" and "pristine nature" so prevalent within conservation ideology, and on the historically formed power and exchange relationships that they help perpetuate.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571814647
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/15/2002
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David G. Anderson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. Eeva Berglund was Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths College from 1998 to 2002 and has written on the anthropology and history of environmental politics.

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Table of Contents

Maps and Figures
Notes on the Contributors
Introduction: Towards an Ethnography of Ecological Underprivilege 1
1 Pitfalls of Synchronicity: A Case Study of the Caicaras in the Atlantic Rainforest of South-eastern Brazil 19
2 Nature as Contested Terrain: Conflicts Over Wilderness Protection and Local Livelihoods in Rio San Juan, Nicaragua 33
3 The Environment at the Periphery: Conflicting Discourses on the Forest in Tanimbar, Eastern Indonesia 51
4 Protest, Conflict and Litigation: Dissent or Libel in Resistance to a Conservancy in North-west Namibia 69
5 Environmentalism in the Syrian Badia: The Assumptions of Degradation, Protection and Bedouin Misuse 87
6 'Ecocide and Genocide': Explorations of Environmental Justice in Lakota Sioux Country 101
7 Promoting Consumption in the Rainforest: Global Conservation in Papua New Guinea 119
8 'We still are Soviet People': Youth Ecological Culture in the Republic of Tatarstan and the Legacy of the Soviet Union 139
9 The Ecology of Markets in Central Siberia 155
10 Contrasting Landscapes, Conflicting Ontologies: Assessing Environmental Conservation on Palawan Island (The Philippines) 171
11 Ecologism as an Idiom in Amazonian Anthropology 189
Bibliography 205
Index 221
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