Human Geography

Download Culture and Resource Conflict: Why Meanings Matter by Douglas L. Medin PDF

By Douglas L. Medin

In a multi-cultural society, differing worldviews between teams may end up in clash over competing values and behaviors. Nowhere is that this pressure extra concrete than within the desert, the place humans of other cultures hunt and fish for a similar animals. White american citizens are inclined to see nature as anything exterior which they've got a few accountability to care for. by contrast, local americans usually tend to see themselves as one with nature. In Culture and source Conflict, authors Douglas Medin, Norbert Ross, and Douglas Cox examine the discord among whites and Menominee American Indians over searching and fishing, and within the method, give a contribution to our knowing of ways and why cultures so frequently collide.

according to distinct ethnographic and experimental learn, Culture and source Conflict reveals that local American and ecu American hunters and fishermen have differing approaches--or psychological models--with appreciate to fish and video game, and that those variations bring about false impression, stereotyping, and clash. Menominee view the perform of looking and fishing for game as an indication of an absence of appreciate for nature. Whites, however, outline admire for nature extra on grounds of source administration and conservation. a few whites believe--contrary to fact--that local americans are depleting animal populations with over the top searching and fishing, whereas the Menominee protest that they simply hunt what they wish and make large use in their seize. but the authors locate that, regardless of those changes, the 2 teams percentage the elemental underlying target of protecting fish and video game for destiny generations, and either teams see looking and fishing as deeply significant actions. At its middle, the clash among those teams is extra approximately distrust and stereotyping than real war of words over values.

Combining the strengths of psychology and anthropology, Culture and source Conflict indicates how misunderstandings concerning the causes of others can result in hostility and clash. As debates over average assets rage all over the world, this specific e-book demonstrates the stumbling blocks that has to be triumph over for various teams to arrive consensus over environmental coverage.

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Extra resources for Culture and Resource Conflict: Why Meanings Matter

Sample text

Mental Models Originally our research group set out to study the cultural models of three cultural groups living off the same environment, the tropical rain forest of the Peh�n region of northern Guatemala. 2 We hypothesized that people's understanding of nature may affect how they act on it. We use the term "mental models" quite broadly to refer to how people approach and understand nature, and their beliefs about causal processes associ­ ated with it. For example, whether one views the forest as a resource to be exploited as one's home may make a difference in how one uses it.

The relations were almost exclusively helping ones: plants help animals by providing food, shelter, or something else the animals need. Furthermore the Ladino and Itza' informants showed high agreement on which partic­ ular plants help which particular animals. The relatively impoverished Q'eqchi' mental model is a subset of the Itza' and Ladino models. The question of how animals affect plants produced even greater dif­ ferences. Q'eqchi' informants reached consensus on only 13 of the 812 possible animal-plant relations, whereas the Ladinos and Itza' reported about five times as many relations for ways in which specific animals hurt specific plants.

In this chapter specifically we will take on the puzzle of categories-the building blocks of thought. Do people in different cultures organize nature in the same way? It is easy to be of two minds on this question. There's a case for expecting large variation across cultures. First of all, there are clear examples of variation. For the Itza' Maya of Guatemala, bats are birds. Other cultures do not consider the cassowary a bird. The traditional Menominee notion of "alive" includes materials such as water or rocks which are inanimate according to Western science and convention.

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