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Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
Ecological Anthropology  Course Fundamentals 1 29 08
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Ecological Anthropology Course Fundamentals 1 29 08

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www.livingwebconsulting.com Richard Currie Smith Ph.D. U of MN

www.livingwebconsulting.com Richard Currie Smith Ph.D. U of MN

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    • 1. Ecological Anthropology: Fundamentals
        • Introduction to Cultural Ecology :
        • by Sutton & Anderson, Chapter One
      • Goal of Book
        • Communicate Anthropology side of ecological issues
        • Learn from diverse, mainly traditional non-western, cultural interaction with nature
          • Not the “ecologically noble savage”
    • 2. Ecological Anthropology: Fundamentals
      • Ecology studies the interactions between organisms and their environments
      • Ecological Anthropology studies the interaction between human biology, culture and the environment
    • 3. Ecosemiotics Source: Kull Kalevi 1998 The communicative relationship between nature and culture
    • 4. History of Environmental Thought
      • Environmental Determinism: Environment dictates cultural adaptation
      • Cultural Evolution: There is an upward progression to environmental adaptation
      • Possibilism: Environment limits cultural adaptation
    • 5. Approaches to Ecological Anthropology
      • Cultural Ecology: Began in 1930’s
        • Julian Steward coined term, “father of Ecological Anthropology,”saw culture as making
        • human distinct animals separate from environment
      • The “New Ecology”: Began in late 1960’s
        • Science of systems ecology, humans not unique animals but embedded in ecosystems.
          • Rappaport, Pigs for the Ancestors , Physics Model
          • Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Communication- Ecosemiotic Model
    • 6. Approaches to Ecological Anthropology
      • Cultural Materialism: Began in late 1960’s
        • Marvin Harris “functionalist” culture interaction with environment explained by direct material payoff in specific situations, i.e. Sacred Cow of India
      • Rational Choice: Began in late 1980’s
        • Popular in economics and political science, culture interaction derives from a people’s best “rational” decisions
    • 7. Approaches to Ecological Anthropology
      • Political Ecology: Began in 1970’s
        • Focus on immediate conflicts and the short-term cultural/environment processes involved
      • Historical Ecology: Began in 1970’s
        • Similar to environmental history, dialectic relationship between humans and the altered “landscape”
      • Postmodernism: Began in 1980’s
        • Interpretations by science of human/environmental interaction is subjective, “biophysical reality”centered on power relationships dictated by dominant modern culture
    • 8. Ecological Anthropology: Fundamentals
        • Introduction to Cultural Ecology :
        • by Sutton & Anderson, Chapter Four
      • Cultural Adaptation to the environment has become more more influential for humans than biological adaptation
    • 9. Environmental Adaptation Through Cultural Systems
      • Organization: orders and integrates diverse cultural components, i.e. religious, economic, political, for environmental adaptation
        • Social networks allow for distribution of environmental resources
        • Settlement patterns allow for differing utilization of environmental resources
      • Technology: utilization of tools has allowed humans to adapt to every ecosystem on earth
    • 10. Traditional Knowledge Systems
      • All cultures obtain and categorize knowledge about the environment
        • Ethnoscience/Ethnoecology: the classification and knowledge of the environment by a culture
          • Ethnobiology: the study of biotic environment
            • Eethnobotany: plants
            • Ethnozoology: animals
            • Ethnopharmacology: medicines
    • 11. Traditional Knowledge Systems
      • Knowledge of Abiotic Environment includes geography, soils, meteorology & astronomy
      • Art portrays cultural attitudes and beliefs about the environment
        • Underutilized by Eco-Anthropology
    • 12. Eco-Anthropologists & Modern Western Uses of Traditional Knowledge Systems
      • Medicine - recording and collecting
      • native plants used in healing
      • Food and Fiber – describing traditional uses
      • for native plants and animals
      • Agricultural Techniques – documenting environmentally sustainable practices
    • 13. Eco-Anthropologists & Modern Western Uses of Traditional Knowledge Systems
      • Thought and Philosophy – illuminating the ways native people think about their environment
        • Study and make known, culturally encoded beliefs
        • and knowledge of the environment,
          • Different cultures know different “facts” about the environment that are often non-factual to outsiders
          • Traditional cultures have extensive knowledge of environment that often exceeds modern scientific knowledge
          • Traditional religion acts to “sell” conservation through ethics and moral teachings that can be utilized in modern society,
          • i.e, Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic”
    • 14. Human “Impact” on the Environment
      • Anthropogenic (human + produced) changes derive from:
        • Large scale environmental alteration of landscapes
          • Burning forest to clear land for farming
        • Smaller scale specific resource management
          • Pruning trees to increase fruit
        • Active or Passive Methods
          • Purposeful goal directed behavior, crop cultivation
          • Ritual to promote stewardship, conservation awards
    • 15. Making Decisions About the Environment
      • Cultural systems are dynamic, constant calibration and adjustment necessary for stability (a stochastic process)
        • Cognition: Perception of environment is a selective process, the “difference that makes
        • a difference”
        • Information (to bring into form): Environment understood through accumulation, classification and explanation
    • 16. Ecological Anthropology: Fundamentals
      • “ The Roots of Environmental Crisis,” Part 6 no. 3, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson, ©1972
      • Ad hoc measures can allow deeper causes to grow stronger, treating symptom without curing disease
        • In 1939 DDT was solution to an insect “problem,” (Nobel Prize)
        • 1950 DDT found severely toxic to animals, including humans
        • World is addicted to DDT, short-term gain long-term pain
        • 1962 Silent Spring by Rachel Carlson launches environmentalism
        • 1970 Prohibition of DDT is begun, endocrine (hormone) disruptor
        • At present DDT is still in use, found in maternal amniotic fluid even in U.S. where it is banned
    • 17. The Roots of Environmental Crisis
      • Interaction of Three Interconnected Causes
        • Technological “Progress”
        • Population Increase
        • Errors in thinking and attitudes
          • Every solution to technological and population problems made more difficult by errors in the “thinking and attitudes of Occidental Culture”
    • 18. Bateson’s "Separation From Nature” Cluster of Ideas
      • It’s us against the environment.
      • It’s the individual (or individual company or individual nation) that matters.
      • We can have unilateral control over the environment and must strive for that control.
      • We live in an infinitely expanding “frontier."
      • Economic determinism is common sense.
      • Technology will do it for us
    • 19. Occidental Culture "Separation From Nature” Cluster of Ideas
      • Proven false by the massive environmental destruction caused by technological achievements (especially since industrial revolution)
        • “The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself”
    • 20. The Roots of Environmental Crisis
      • The “hubris” of Occidental thinking is only one culture’s way of relating to nature
        • Many traditional cultures are models, i.e ancient Hawaiian
        • Environmental scientist and philosophers
        • Environmentalists and eco-friendly business
        • Next five to ten years crucial

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