Uncommon Ground: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Values

Overview

- What makes people care about the environment?

- Why and how do different cultural groups value land in different ways?

With increasing international concern about green issues, and the apparent failure of mechanistic solutions to complex problems, Uncommon Ground provides a timely understanding of the cultural values that underpin human-environmental relations. Through a comparison of two very different groups, the Aboriginal people and the white cattle farmers in Far North Queensland, Uncommon Ground explores ...

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Overview

- What makes people care about the environment?

- Why and how do different cultural groups value land in different ways?

With increasing international concern about green issues, and the apparent failure of mechanistic solutions to complex problems, Uncommon Ground provides a timely understanding of the cultural values that underpin human-environmental relations. Through a comparison of two very different groups, the Aboriginal people and the white cattle farmers in Far North Queensland, Uncommon Ground explores how the human-environmental relationship is culturally constructed.

This highly topical study also examines the long-term conflicts over land in Australia, which have brought to the surface each group's environmental values. The author considers how these values are acquired, and the universal and cultural factors that lead to their development. Major emphasis is put on the cultural forms that create and express environmental values for the Aborigines and the white pastoralists, such as:

- historical background

- land use and economic modes

- socio-spatial organization

- language, knowledge and methods of socialization

- oral and visual representation

- cosmological beliefs and systems of law

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I find her timely study very important grounding work in analysing and understanding relationships to land." —Canberra Anthropology

"An absorbing account of the ways in which Aboriginal people and White pastoralists living in the lowlands east of northern Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria symbolically construct their surroundings.. . . A solid, informative, and creative ethnography. The language is clear and accessible, and Strang excels at making detail engrossing rather than burdensome. Because of its subjects and its many good qualities this is a book that should interest a wide audience." —American Anthropologist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859739518
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Series: Explorations in Anthropology Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Veronica Strang is Head of School of Social Sciences, at Auckland University of Technology.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Strangers from the Sea: The Invasion of the Peninsula 13
2 Voyages of Discovery: The Colonisation of the Peninsula 36
3 A Present from the Past 59
4 Living on the Land: Aboriginal Culture, Economics and Land Use 83
5 Living off the Land: Taking Stock of the Cattle Industry 108
6 Social Space and Social Place: Socio-Spatial Organisation on the Land 133
7 Learning Values: Education in the Gulf Country 171
8 In the Eye of the Beholder: Readings of the Country 199
9 Mapping the Country: Representations of the Landscape 216
10 Antipodean Worlds: Cosmology, Law and Environmental Values 237
Conclusion 276
Bibliography 292
Index 298
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