In this unique and agenda-setting examination of the relation between nature and culture, Klaus Eder demonstrates our ideas of nature are culturally determined, and explains how the relation between modern, industrial societies and nature is increasingly violent and destructive. Through an analysis of symbolism, ritual and taboo, Eder questions the view of nature as an object. Showing how nature is socially constructed, he presents a critique of Marx and Durkheim while offering a radical reinterpretation of the relationship among society, culture and nature. Eder concludes with an examination of the symbolic order of society and of the role of religion in modern culture. Using a culturalist interpretation,
The classic work that redefined the sociology of knowledge and has inspired a generation of philosophers and thinkers In this seminal book, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society. Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, Berger and Luckmann go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge—the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people. When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term social construction,effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.
Being Human examines the complex connections among conceptions of human nature, attitudes toward non-human nature, and ethics. Anna Peterson proposes an "ethical anthropology" that examines how ideas of nature and humanity are bound together in ways that shape the very foundations of cultures. Peterson discusses mainstream Western understandings of what it means to be human, as well as alternatives to these perspectives, and suggests that the construction of a compelling, coherent environmental ethics will revise our ideas not only about nature but also about what it means to be human.
Often lost in the debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what is being constructed. Particularly troublesome in this area is the status of the natural sciences, where there is conflict between biological and social approaches to mental illness, and in other areas. Ian Hacking looks at the issue of child abuse, and examines the ways in which advanced research on new weapons influences not the content but the form of science. In conclusion, Hacking comments on the "culture wars" in anthropology, in particular the spat between leading enthnographers over Hawaii and Captain Cook.
Chapter 12 of this book is open access under a CC BY license. Well-established scholars from a variety of disciplines - including sociology, anthropology, media and cultural studies, and political sciences – use the social construction of death and dying to analyse a wide variety of meaning-making practices in societal fields such as ethics, politics, media, medicine and family.
Lorne Leslie Neil Evernden,Professor Neil Evernden
Author: Lorne Leslie Neil Evernden,Professor Neil Evernden
Publisher: JHU Press
"I think "The Social Creation of Nature" stands Evernden in relation to the present generation roughly as Thoreau stood in relation to New England Transcendentalism."--Max Oelschlaeger, author of "The Idea of Wilderness.""A thoughtful and illuminating book... For Evernden, wildness' is what should be defended and preserved."-- "New Scientist."One reason for our failure to "save the earth," argues Neil Evernden, is our disagreement about what "nature" really is--how it works, what constitutes a risk to it, and even whether we ourselves are part of it. Nature is as much a social entity as a physical one. In addition to the physical resources to be harnessed and transformed, it consists of a domain of norms that may be called upon in defense of certain social ideals. In exploring the consequences of conventional understandings of nature, "The Social Creation of Nature" also seeks a way around the limitations of a socially created nature in order to defend what is actually imperiled--"wildness," in which, Thoreau wrote, lies hope for "the preservation of the world."
An analysis of the cognitive consequences of diminished contact with nature examinesthe relationship between how people think about the natural world and how they act on it, and howthese are affected by cultural differences.
This groundbreaking collection brings together for the first time diverse geographical work on the social construction of nature. Eleven leading contributors not only discuss social nature, but look at the concrete ways in which it is made and the political implications of its construction. Brings together for the first time diverse geographical work on the social construction of nature. Eleven leading contributors not only discuss social nature, but look at the concrete ways in which it is made and the political implications of its construction. Uses international case studies to illustrate the theoretical positions. A helpful introduction by the editors sets the chapters in context. Enables teachers and students to explore the ways in which social nature is evident and to engage with the direct implications of this for human lives, ecologies and politics.
How much of science is culturally constructed? How much depends on language and metaphor? How do our ideas about nature connect with reality? Can nature be "reinvented" through theme parks and malls, or through restoration?Reinventing Nature? is an interdisciplinary investigation of how perceptions and conceptions of nature affect both the individual experience and society's management of nature. Leading thinkers from a variety of fields -- philosophy, psychology, sociology, public policy, forestry, and others -- address the conflict between perception and reality of nature, each from a different perspective. The editors of the volume provide an insightful introductory chapter that places the book in the context of contemporary debates and a concluding chapter that brings together themes and draws conclusions from the dialogue.In addition to the editors, contributors include Albert Borgmann, David Graber, N. Katherine Hayles, Stephen R. Kellert, Gary P. Nabhan, Paul Shepard, and Donald Worster.
This highly original work presents laboratory science in a deliberately skeptical way: as an anthropological approach to the culture of the scientist. Drawing on recent work in literary criticism, the authors study how the social world of the laboratory produces papers and other "texts,"' and how the scientific vision of reality becomes that set of statements considered, for the time being, too expensive to change. The book is based on field work done by Bruno Latour in Roger Guillemin's laboratory at the Salk Institute and provides an important link between the sociology of modern sciences and laboratory studies in the history of science.
A major work by one of the more innovative thinkers of our time, Politics of Nature does nothing less than establish the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its proponents have thus far envisioned. Bruno Latour announces his project dramatically: "Political ecology has nothing whatsoever to do with nature, this jumble of Greek philosophy, French Cartesianism and American parks." Nature, he asserts, far from being an obvious domain of reality, is a way of assembling political order without due process. Thus, his book proposes an end to the old dichotomy between nature and society--and the constitution, in its place, of a collective, a community incorporating humans and nonhumans and building on the experiences of the sciences as they are actually practiced. In a critique of the distinction between fact and value, Latour suggests a redescription of the type of political philosophy implicated in such a "commonsense" division--which here reveals itself as distinctly uncommonsensical and in fact fatal to democracy and to a healthy development of the sciences. Moving beyond the modernist institutions of "mononaturalism" and "multiculturalism," Latour develops the idea of "multinaturalism," a complex collectivity determined not by outside experts claiming absolute reason but by "diplomats" who are flexible and open to experimentation. Table of Contents: Introduction: What Is to Be Done with Political Ecology? 1. Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature First, Get Out of the Cave Ecological Crisis or Crisis of Objectivity? The End of Nature The Pitfall of "Social Representations" of Nature The Fragile Aid of Comparative Anthropology What Successor for the Bicameral Collective? 2. How to Bring the Collective Together Difficulties in Convoking the Collective First Division: Learning to Be Circumspect with Spokespersons Second Division: Associations of Humans and Nonhumans Third Division between Humans and Nonhumans: Reality and Recalcitrance A More or Less Articulated Collective The Return to Civil Peace 3. A New Separation of Powers Some Disadvantages of the Concepts of Fact and Value The Power to Take into Account and the Power to Put in Order The Collective's Two Powers of Representation Verifying That the Essential Guarantees Have Been Maintained A New Exteriority 4. Skills for the Collective The Third Nature and the Quarrel between the Two "Eco" Sciences Contribution of the Professions to the Procedures of the Houses The Work of the Houses The Common Dwelling, the Oikos 5. Exploring Common Worlds Time's Two Arrows The Learning Curve The Third Power and the Question of the State The Exercise of Diplomacy War and Peace for the Sciences Conclusion: What Is to Be Done? Political Ecology! Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry...) Glossary Notes Bibliography Index From the book: What is to be done with political ecology? Nothing. What is to be done? Political ecology! All those who have hoped that the politics of nature would bring about a renewal of public life have asked the first question, while noting the stagnation of the so-called "green" movements. They would like very much to know why so promising an endeavor has so often come to naught. Appearances notwithstanding, everyone is bound to answer the second question the same way. We have no choice: politics does not fall neatly on one side of a divide and nature on the other. From the time the term "politics" was invented, every type of politics has been defined by its relation to nature, whose every feature, property, and function depends on the polemical will to limit, reform, establish, short-circuit, or enlighten public life. As a result, we cannot choose whether to engage in it surreptitiously, by distinguishing between questions of nature and questions of politics, or explicitly, by treating those two sets of questions as a single issue that arises for all collectives. While the ecology movements tell us that nature is rapidly invading politics, we shall have to imagine - most often aligning ourselves with these movements but sometimes against them - what a politics finally freed from the sword of Damocles we call nature might be like.
This latest book by one the world's leading protagonists in the field will be welcomed not just by psychologists but by students, academics and professionals interested in social constructionism across a wide range of subjects. Social Construction in Context explores the potentials of social constructionist theory when placed in diverse intellectual and practical contexts. It demonstrates the achievements of social constructionism, and what it can now offer various fields of inquiry, both academic, professional and applied, given the proliferation of the theory across the social sciences and humanities. First order issues of concern within the academic world, objectivity, truth, power and ideology, are now being augmented by widespread developments in practice - therapeutic, pedagogical, organizational and political. This book looks closely at these developments and examines both the positive potentials and limitations of social constructionist theory when applied to a variety of domains. It has been written in an accessible and scholarly manner making it suitable for a wide-ranging readership.
This accessible text draws together for the first time a wide range of emerging issues, ideas and discussions in constructionist psychology. It shows how these issues are relevant to everyday life, using carefully-chosen examples to illustrate its arguments, and provides a coherent and challenging introduction to the field.
There are few more important philosophers at work today than John Searle, a creative and contentious thinker who has shaped the way we think about mind and language. Now he offers a profound understanding of how we create a social reality--a reality of money, property, governments, marriages, stock markets and cocktail parties. The paradox he addresses in Making the Social World is that these facts only exist because we think they exist and yet they have an objective existence. Continuing a line of investigation begun in his earlier book The Construction of Social Reality, Searle identifies the precise role of language in the creation of all "institutional facts." His aim is to show how mind, language and civilization are natural products of the basic facts of the physical world described by physics, chemistry and biology. Searle explains how a single linguistic operation, repeated over and over, is used to create and maintain the elaborate structures of human social institutions. These institutions serve to create and distribute power relations that are pervasive and often invisible. These power relations motivate human actions in a way that provides the glue that holds human civilization together. Searle then applies the account to show how it relates to human rationality, the freedom of the will, the nature of political power and the existence of universal human rights. In the course of his explication, he asks whether robots can have institutions, why the threat of force so often lies behind institutions, and he denies that there can be such a thing as a "state of nature" for language-using human beings.
This book contextualizes autism as a socio cultural phenomenon, and examines the often troubling effects of representations and social trends. Exploring the individuals and events in the history of this condition, Waltz blends research and personal perspectives to examine social narratives of normalcy, disability and difference.