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Culture and the Changing Environment
Uncertainty, Cognition, and Risk Management in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Edited by Michael J. Casimir
410 pages, 30 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-478-4 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (April 2008)
ISBN 978-1-84545-683-2 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (September 2009)
eISBN 978-0-85745-004-3 eBook
“This remarkable anthology of 13 essays is a cross-cultural study on ecological anthropology, which examines the cultural construction of nature, human evaluation of environmental risks, and human action to mitigate such risks. The anthology persuasively critiques the privileging of Western rationality over culture-specific perspectives of environmental change… [It] stands alone for the geographical sweep of its contributions - from Europe, Asia, and Africa - and its disciplinary eclecticism, which draws deeply on anthropology, geography, psychology, ethnography, ethnology, and sociology… Essential.” · Choice
Today human ecology has split into many different sub-disciplines such as historical ecology, political ecology or the New Ecological Anthropology. The latter in particular has criticised the predominance of the Western view on different ecosystems, arguing that culture-specific world views and human-environment interactions have been largely neglected. However, these different perspectives only tackle specific facets of a local and global hyper-complex reality. In bringing together a variety of views and theoretical approaches , these especially commissioned essays prove that an interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding of the extreme complexity of the human-environment interface(s) is possible.
Michael J. Casimir is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne. He has conducted prolonged fieldwork on the ecology, economy, environmental management and nutritional and socialisation patterns among pastoral nomads in west Afghanistan and Kashmir. Together with Aparna Rao he was chairperson of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples of the International Union of Ethnological and Anthropological Sciences (1995–1998), and was until 2004 one of the editors of Nomadic Peoples (Berghahn), the official journal of the Commission. His major publications include Flocks and Food. A Biocultural Approach to the Study of Pastoral Foodways (1991); Mobility and Territoriality (ed. 1992); Nomadism in South Asia (ed. 2003).
Subject: Environmental Studies (General) Theory and Methodology
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