Special attention is paid to the links between cultural ecology and landscape . upon the environment and also a critical analysis of the applied research itself. The Cultural Ecology theory can be used to analyze the distribution of wealth to validate the intimate relationship between a people and their environment. Specifically, cultural ecology denotes the habitually embedded adaptive coevolved in the relations between humans and their nonhuman worlds; of health, resilience ecology, ecological-footprint analysis, and.
Before we explain the disciplinary concept of cultural ecology we would like to summarize the basic terms and clarify our understanding of them.
We use the work of Tress et al. According to Tress et al. A multidisciplinary research is defined by one broad theme and various research objectives of different disciplines. Interdisciplinarity is characterized by a common research goal of several unrelated disciplines with different paradigms. The cooperation is so intense that the 18 Unauthenticated Tress and colleagues also use the term participatory research, which means involving academics and non-academics in solving problems.
When the participatory approach is combined with interdisciplinarity, we talk about transdisciplinarity, a project that draws in scholars from unrelated disciplines and also non- academics, and it aspires for new knowledge and theory. They distinguish between multidisciplinarity as side-by-side disciplines, which strive for the same goal but do not exchange knowledge, and division of labour between disciplines, which demands exchange of the results and data for the sake of a common outcome e.
Nevertheless, the barriers of paradigms are not crossed. This is something very similar to what Max-Neef calls pluridisciplinarity, namely cooperation among disciplines without any coordination from a higher hierarchical level.
First, it plays a key role in particular research problems. The involvement of stakeholders helps to identify accurate research questions, it provides scientists with non-scientific knowledge and it can facilitate the adoption of given solutions.
The second aspect of the relationship is linked to values and norms. If science has the ambition to reach some practical applications, and not only to accumulate knowledge, the society itself needs to determine and define the goals.
Max-Neef elaborates on transdisciplinarity, characterising it as a system of coordination on different hierarchical levels. In detail, he understands transdisciplinarity as a concept combining interdisciplinary approaches with the society and he distinguished among scientific branches of pragmatic, normative and value levels. Additionally, integrative research, at least in environmental disciplines, is expected to support sustainable development processes.
We define our concept of cultural ecology as an integrative approach, which aims to understand different aspects of relationship between culture and nature. As we stated before, our ambition is not to define a new discipline with strict methodology, but we would like to initiate meetings, discussions and broad scientific collaboration. Interdisciplinarity remains to be one of the ultimate goals of the cooperation, yet at the same time there is enough reason for scepticism about this demanding and very fancy approach.
As most of the scholars know from their own experience, this requirement is one of the hardest tasks for a scientist trained in the narrow context of scientific specializations. Therefore, big interdisciplinary projects often fail or bring unsatisfactory results.
Our experience from the social sciences teaches us that interdisciplinarity is often just a declaration or a wishful thinking, not the reality. Even the background of cultural ecology, culturology, has not achieved its 12 Tress et al. Cultural ecology endeavours to incorporate the public either as an object of research, an advisory group or an authority raising questions and expressing its values and preferences. This is tightly interconnected with the focus on contemporary problems.
Without this preoccupation with the present, the false idea of absolute objectivity or blind isolation from reality can seize control over the academics or whole disciplines. Cultural core of society-environment relationships Regardless of whether culture is or is not an adaptive system, the relationship between humans and nature is determined by culture. Both technology and economy are parts of the very complex cultural system, consisting of interlinked material artefacts, norms, values, ideas and other manifestations of human enterprise.
This means that environmental problems do not only depend on the level of technology, but they are rather anchored in the whole cultural complex that is not able either to recognize or solve them. Phenomena like the Jevons paradox13 show us that technology can hardly be the only solution for global environmental problems because technology itself does not determine the way it is used.
Considering the complexity of culture, it is evident that without social sciences, environmental problems cannot be resolved. However, any science can only provide the public with data and information. If this information is not accepted by the society culture and the problem is not recognised as urgent, no cultural change possibly leading to a solution can take place.
It is the task of cultural ecology to foster a dialogue between science and the public, in order to supply relevant information to culture and help the society recognise potential threats.
Robin Attfield describes the current state of the art with these words: Solutions will need to be coordinated 13 Jevons paradox states that with increasing energy efficiency of the machine, the consumption of energy does not decrease but grows due to lower prices of energy. William Stanley Jevons stated this fact in 19 th century Great Britain using the coal and steam engines as an example. This idea was also elaborated by modern economy and it is called the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate or rebound effect in general.
Dialogue between society and environment The relationship of culture and nature is a dialogue between two relatively equal parties. The other possibility how to understand this relationship is to prioritise the dominance of one side. If we prioritise human dominance upon nature, two interpretations come forward: On the other hand, if we prioritise nature, mankind can be perceived as a victim of biological laws from genes to Gaia without any possibility to oppose natural forces and without any responsibility.
All of these interpretations are one-sided and simplified. Scientific evidence as well as our own everyday experience shows us both aspects of the human-nature relationship. The influence of nature on culture is extremely high, even in modern societies able to substitute a great part of local resources by the transport of goods, food, money, energy and information and to create the illusion of being independent of natural laws.
However, natural disasters like floods or droughts remind us of the physical nature of our lives. Furthermore, globalisation and complexity of contemporary world causes that local natural events may have unexpected consequences even for very distant places There is of course the second part of the dialogue, human influence on nature. The speed of resource consumption and anthropogenic changes of environment has been accelerating throughout the history along with growing population and technological development.
Humans triggered substantial environmental degradation e. On the other hand, the effect of humans on nature can also be positive. Natural conservation in general is another example of positive human influence on nature. This brief list of illustrations of the mutual human-nature relationship depicts both sides of the dialogue.
If only one side is accentuated, the interaction between people and nature cannot be properly understood. Another example is the flooding in Thailand, where an important part of the global amount of computer hard disks is produced. The floods increased the prize of electronics and it also affected car industry in Europe as well the Fukushima disaster in did. Globalisation makes people less dependent on local resources but the whole system becomes less resilient.
Landscape is a place of interaction between humans and nature, a place where the human-nature dialogue, as explained above, is manifested. This interdisciplinary approach was also reflected in the context of international politics in the European Landscape Convention Council of Europe The convention values different kinds of landscapes and it explicitly names human perception as an intrinsic part of a landscape definition.
We can only add that there could be no landscape without any culturally determined perception of it.
Due to its cultural and natural substance, landscape carries information about both of these systems. At the same time, changes in these systems are manifested in landscapes. Historically, people are used to living in particular local landscapes, and perceive their changes and adapt to them. Today, however, this sensibility toward global changes manifested in local landscapes seems to be weakened, probably also due to the substitution of local resources by the global economic system.
If this former skill were regained, it would help us be more sensible to global environmental challenges, which still seem to be quite irrelevant for individuals. This is not only a question of dialogue between different scientific branches, the efficiency of which as discussed above is often doubtful.
A more accurate perception of changes often human caused in our environment 16 is essential for the ability to adapt to current global environmental challenges.
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Without incorporating this ability into culture or the social construction of realitythe cultural response to any scientific warning is at risk of being weak.
For a cultural adaptation sensu Stewardit is first necessary to know how to read the environment. We argue that landscape is the best scale for this reading. With respect to the pitfalls of interdisciplinarity, we rather talk about an attitude appreciating any real effort to foster a dialogue among scientists and other stakeholders. Cultural ecology is a cognitive and action driven approach with a deep interest in current environmental and social problems.
It understands the relationship of people and nature as an equal dialogue, intensely expressed in cultural landscapes.
Cultural Ecology and Human Ecology - Geography - Oxford Bibliographies
This mechanism is plausible for any environmental problem, be it climate change, landscape degradation or water pollution. Environmental science can help to support this process, but the core of this change does not lie in the science itself. It consists in the values and behaviour of each single individual, sharing both culture and nature with the others. Project is funded by European Social Fund and Czech state budget.
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The abundance or scarcity of resources determines whether people will make a collective effort or work independently. Without looking at all the various anthropological aspects of a culture, then it is impossible to fully grasp the effect of environment on a culture.
Written init is still a relevant source on the subject. Julian Steward was a pioneer in the field of cultural ecology and his theories on the subject are chronicled in this book. The University of Chicago Press, It was only in later times that a firm tabu was established against this as food and cattle began to be regarded as extraordinarily sacred. Bose says this because it was part of Gandhi's "constructive Programme" in which they put a economic wealth into the cows life so that it isn't slaughtered.
Another criticism is that Marvin Harris has never been to India or has never seen a sacred cow before. With Marvin Harris never experiencing it first hand it takes away from his credibility of talking about the subject.
Said by Marvin Harris because he stats that " my argument is based upon intensive reading-I have never seen a sacred cow, nor been to India.