New Directions in Anthropology
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Troubles with Turtles
Cultural Understandings of the Environment on a Greek Island
208 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-596-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2003)
ISBN 978-1-57181-697-9 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (March 2005)
eISBN 978-0-85745-679-3 eBook
“…the book has a number of things to recommend it, particularly for undergraduate teaching, as its scale and readability would be an ethnographic asset for courses on, for example, anthropology and the environment. Its material also provides a number of teachable opportunities, both critically and historically.” · Human Ecology
“Though predominantly informative about Greek rural life, the book constitutes an illustrative and informative account about human relationships with the natural world more generally.” · H-Environment
The people of Vassilikos, farmers and tourist entrepreneurs on the Greek island of Zakynthos, are involved in a bitter environmental dispute concerning the conservation of sea turtles. Against the environmentalists' practices and ideals they set their own culture of relating to the land, cultivation, wild and domestic animals.
Written from an anthropological perspective, this book puts forward the idea that a thorough study of indigenous cultures is a fundamental step to understanding conflicts over the environment. For this purpose, the book offers a detailed account of the cultural depth and richness of the human environmental relationship in Vassilikos, focusing on the engagement of its inhabitants with diverse aspects of the local environment, such as animal care, agriculture, tourism and hunting.
Dimitris Theodossopoulos is a Reader at the University of Kent. In the early nineties he carried out fieldwork on environmental politics and the indigenous perceptions of the environment in rural Greece. He is currently teaching anthropology and writing on a variety of themes, ranging from the human-environmental relationship to the ethnography of conflict and nationalism in the Balkans. His most recent field of interest focuses on Greek attitudes towards the Turks and the Greco-Turkish politics of friendship.