Article

Environmental Anthropology

Tracey Heatherington

in Anthropology

ISBN: 9780199766567
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0041
Environmental Anthropology

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  • Anthropology
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Environmental anthropology deals broadly with culture and environment. Early anthropologists were interested in human relations with the environment as factors in cultural development. With the rise of environmental movements and ecological paradigms during the 20th century, anthropologists, too, adopted new perspectives. The growing acknowledgment of urgent environmental problems and resource governance issues has supported a burst of expansion in the field since the 1990s. Environmental anthropology currently subsumes a considerable range of theoretical approaches and themes. In Europe and Australia, for example, the field is often more strongly affiliated with the humanistic disciplines, while in North America it is frequently allied with the sciences. Much of the work done in environmental anthropology today takes a problem-centered approach that assumes various interdisciplinary engagements, and it is not meant to be taken in isolation. This field of specialization can, however, be generally distinguished from cognate fields such as environmental sociology, environmental history, and environmental archaeology by its general emphasis on insights derived from ethnographic traditions, methods, and perspectives. Above all, environmental anthropology is premised upon the recognition of important cross-cultural differences in the ways that people perceive, use, and care for the world around them.

Article.  10497 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology ; Human Evolution ; Medical Anthropology ; Physical Anthropology ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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