Political ecology

Political ecology - theory of change and adaptation than...

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Political ecology: As the name suggests, PE foregrounds political issues; that is, it focuses on environmental issues as arenas for political struggle, both overt (as in land rights or environmental contamination conflicts) and covert (as in conflicts between standard conservationist views of "pristine nature" vs. local people's views of "homeland" and places for livelihood) PE has come to dominate the cultural anthropology wing of ecological anth, as well as having an ever stronger presence in the discipline of geography; PE is quite diverse, but many practitioners are strongly influenced by Marxist political economy PE is exemplified in our assigned readings by Alcorn (1991) and Fraser (2003); it is featured in several UW courses, including ANTH 459 (Culture, ecology, and politics), ANTH 487 (Environmental justice), and several courses in Geography Behavioral ecology: BE constitutes a fusion of evolutionary biology and decision theory (particularly microeconomics and game theory); it has a more fully developed
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Unformatted text preview: theory of change and adaptation than other forms of ecological anth, and thus offers an explicit answer to the question of functionalism (How can beneficial consequences explain the characteristics that produce these benefits?) BE focuses on the micro-level of individual decisions and interactions (both social and environmental), and attempts to generate understanding at larger scales as aggregate outcomes of these lower-level processes; for example, it analyzes the shift from hunting-gathering to agriculture as a process driven by individual choices over preferred food types and subsistence modes (see Winterhalder & Kennett 2006 reading) While BE does not have as many adherents in anthropology as PE, they are quite active in research and publishing, and it is your instructor's favored paradigm, so you will encounter it frequently throughout this course...
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