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Weather, Climate, Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

Throughout history, the weather has been both feared and revered for its powerful influence over living creatures. Not only does it control our moods, activities, and fashions, but it has also played a crucial role in broader issues of cultural identity, concepts of time, and economic development. In fact, the weather has become so ingrained in our everyday routines that many of us forget just how profoundly this omnipotent force shapes culture. With the continuing rise in global warming and consequential change in weather patterns, our awareness and understanding of this topic has never been so important.

This fascinating book is the first to explore our close relationship with the weather. From folklore to visual representations, agricultural and health practices, and unusual weather events, Weather, Climate, Culture demonstrates that the way we discuss and interpret meteorological phenomena concerns not only the events in question but, more complexly, the cultural, political, and historical framework in which we discuss them. Why is it politically safe to discuss current weather conditions, but highly controversial to discuss long-term climate change? Why are the British renowned for talking about the weather and why, in the eighteenth century, was this regarded as genteel? How can accounts of cultural or moral change be associated with narratives of changing climate and vice-versa?

Drawing on a wide range of case studies from around the world, this pioneering book provides an original and lively perspective on a subject that continues to have an incalculable impact on the way we live. It will serve as a landmark text for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Strauss and Orlove's lively and interesting text is a very welcome addition to the anthropological canon [that] immediately raises the question as to why such an important and fascinating aspect of human experience has previously been studied so little. It highlights the universal importance of weather to human societies, and the consequent potential for comparative analysis, thus connecting the work with a central theoretical issue for anthropologists."—Veronica Strang, Oceania
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859736920
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/17/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Strauss is Assistant Professor, at the University of Wyoming.

Benjamin S. Orlove is Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, at the University of California, Davis and Adjunct Senior Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, Columbia University, New York.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Figures
List of Tables
Notes on Contributors
1 Up in the Air: The Anthropology of Weather and Climate 3
2 Time, Talk, and the Weather in Eighteenth-Century Britain 17
3 Weather Wise: Speaking Folklore to Science in Leukerbad 39
4 Chesapeake Bay Watermen, Weather, and Blue Crabs: Cultural Models and Fishery Policies 61
5 (En)Gendering the Weather: Rainmaking and Reproduction in Tanzania 83
6 Nice Weather for the Time of Year: The British Obsession with the Weather 103
7 How People Name Seasons 121
8 Monet's 'London Series' and the Cultural Climate of London at the Turn of the Twentieth Century 141
9 Changing Earth and Sky: Movement, Environmental Variability, and Responses to El Nino in the Pio-Tura Region of Papua New Guinea 161
10 Meteorological Meanings: Farmers' Interpretations of Seasonal Rainfall Forecasts in Burkina Faso 181
11 Climate Science and the Policy of Drought Mitigation in Ceara, Northeast Brazil 203
12 Climate and Culture in the North: The Interface of Archaeology, Paleoenvironmental Science, and Oral History 217
13 Testing Farmers' Perceptions of Climate Variability: A Case Study from the Sulphur Springs Valley, Arizona 233
14 Mood, Magic, and Metaphor: Allusions to Weather and Climate in the Sagas of Icelanders 251
15 Domesticating Nature: Commentary on the Anthropological Study of Weather and Climate Discourse 277
Index 291
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