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ISS 310 final


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why is the cultual hisory of nature far from uniformally noble?
ideas of natural differences between humans-sex, race, ethnicity, skill-have led to enslavement of millions, oppression, etc
to say that something is natural or to counsel that the appropraite course of action is to follow nature is to suggest something of immense significance for:
our moral values, for our identities, everyday lives, and thus for our politics
"can and out humans to follow nature?"-the contradiction between what can be termed moral separatism and moral holism. what does this mean?
people are part of nature & environmental problems have emerged b/c we have tried to pretend otherwise>holistic moral point of view. if a part of nature no need to advise us to follow it
treating nature as a social construction means understanding how our image of nature depends upon social selection and social reflection. what does this mean?
requires separation from society if it is to be free from social influence, it requires holist unity if it is to be relevent to social issues
since the 1960s, an increasing number of postmodern social theorists have argued what?
against the objectivist notion of a world in which there is only one truthh about any one thing, the truth that best represents "the way things really are"
what is the traditional story of new england's agricultural decline?
bad farm land, too rocky and hilly
how does bell set the record straight about history of agriculture in new england?
aggricultural land expanded until 1880. decline after WWII
abandoned farmsteads across new england countryside, how does historian Hal Barron account for this?
increased mechanization allowed and encouraged fewer farmers to farm more land, depopulating the countryside while keeping production going
how does the traditional story of the decline of agriculture in new england suited some political interests in the farm block?
drawn mainly from western and midwestern states
karl marx and friedrich engles have to say about darwin's theory of natural selection
compared it to the economic theories of free market capitalism
why does the flitting back and forth of concepts between science and socail life deserve special scrutiny
the way it sometimes allows science to be used as a source of political legitimization
a 19th century scientific fad that compared the cranial capacities of different races
who was samual morton and was he a respected scientist during his lifetime?
philadelphia doctor of european descent, leading figure in craniometry
stephen jay gould raises what criticisms of morton's work?
statistical errors, avgs. for whites were rounded up and for black rounded down. large skulls from nonwhite races excluded, sample = highly selective. morton did not consider gender, stature
what findings did ellsworth hunington report in his 1915 book, climate and civilization
thought warm climates encouraged laziness. found climate of europe and northwestern US were associated w/ highest levels of civilization (white regions)
was huntington well known is his day?
why, today, do huntington's mothods seem ludicrously biased?
he saw lives similar for their own civilized & ones dissimilar as uncivilized
what do the works of huntington and martin reveal about the power and danger or nature as a social idea
the socially powerful are not impervious to criticism about their dominant positions, and they seek some source of ideological comfort
wilderness, the highest exemplar of the natural is based on:
the often forcible absense or and regulation of one widespread aspect of the natural world-people
what was the initial model of a national park, an idea that originated in the US
a wilderness region w/ few people
how does the establishment of national parks differ between the US and south and south asia?
US had large regions w/ few people during the great age of park establishment. easy to remove the few people that lived there. in asia, people live virtually everywhere
after villagers were banned from grazing their livestock in the deoldeo ghana bird sanctuary in bharatpur, India, what happened?
the villagers protested , a battle broek ot and several villagers were killed
did the traditional lifestyle of the masai of southern kenya conflict w/ the survival of rhinos and elephants
there is little evidence. the masai helped maintain the savanna environment through their migratory cattle grazing
After the Masai were excluded from four new reserves in southern Kenya, what happened?
the masai got angry and killed some elephants and rhinos. some collaborated w/ ivory trade in protest
How might environmental arguments be used for social exclusion in suburban and exurban zoning controls?
institued w/ the intent of maintaining open space, wildlife habitat etc. but actually raise the cost of acquiring a residence in these areas, excluding poorer people from moving in and sometimes forcing them to move out
How does Bell distinguish between risk and risky?
risk-out sense of what we should worry about & how much the ideal side of worries & fears. risky-organization, technological, economic, & biophysical potential of our circumstances for disrupting our goals & intentions-the material side of worries and desires
what is rational risk assessment
the idea that we should compare out best knowledge about the rates & probabilities of hazards & choose the least dangerous alternative
in rational risk assessment, risks are:
calcuable "facts" to be measured, recorded & evaluated
people are more likely to accept a risk if it is perceieved as:
In their 1982 book, Risk and Culture, anthropologist May Douglas and political scientist Aaron Wildavsky made what argument about risks people are willing to accept, and risks they are not willing to accept?
people tend to accept risks that help to reinforce the social solidarity of their institutions and to reject those that do not
According to sociologist Kai Erikson, at times of weakness and uncertainty in a group’s social cohesion and sense of its boundaries, the perception of a threat can serve to:
draw the group together
What are vertical knowledge gaps?
instances where information is not communicated across the levels of society's hierarchies
when did the word risk enter the english language and what else was going on at the time?
mid 17th century. a time of greatly accelerating development of capitalism & its calculating spirit
Risk has come to be the word we associate with....
the extension of rationalism into our outlook on danger and uncertainty
Sociologist Kai Erikson refers to human-induced disasters as “a new species of trouble.” These have what three interrelated features?
(1) the crumbling of trust & the shredding of community ties (2) a chronic social trauma that victims only slowly recover from, (3) a pervasive sense of dread about what the future brings
According to Charles Perrow’s theory of normal accidents, in systems that have complex and tightly coupled interactions, we should expect:
the occasionaly occurance of a serious accident
Ulrich Beck’s theory of the risk society tracks what changes in social conflict in Western societies?
risk society- conflict shifts to non class based struggles over pollution & other social & environmental bads
Beck’s term reflexive modernization means:
a form of modernization in which we think critically & engage in democratic debate about science and technology
What is the main difficulty with the risk society theory?
it overstates the degree to which we have overcome economic anxiety & economic conflict
Currently, the all-too-common use of the language of science and rationality is to:
exclude others from the converstation
what is participatory research?
citizens and scientists form a common research team
What is the precautionary principle?
look before you leap
for bell, trust should be about:
people open to questions that probe their reports of their experiences in outdoors, lab, towns, families. it is a willingness to disagree & debate & still retain a sense of social connection- a willingness to keep the conversation going
what is the A-B split?
"attitude-behavior split" a characteristic we share, we work to adjust the behavior side to fit our attitudes, and work to adjust out attitudes to our behaviors
according to sociologists, what is one of the main reasons for the A-B split?
social structure
While the second organization of our communities may be a large part of our problems, the ___________________________ of our communities can be a large part of the solution.
social reorganization
What is virtual environmentalism?
environmentalism you dont have to think about b/c you just find yourself doing it anyway
What is the problem of collective action and what striking paradox of social life does it result in?
in a world of self interested actors, how can we get people to cooperate for their own benefit. paradox: we often do not act in our own interests when we act in our own interests
Can we find examples of highly successful use of commons for resource management?
grazing lands across africa, asia, and south america, fisheries in brazil and india
Rather than the tragedy of the commons, Hardin’s allegory is better characterized as the tragedy of ______________________, for what breaks down is:
individualism---not collective ownership itself but rather the inability of the herders to take the view wider than their own narrowly conceived self interests.
The dialogue of solidarities is based on the interaction between what two mutually supporting bases for social commitment?
a solidarity of interests and a solidarity of sentiments
What is the essential glue of both a solidarity of interests and a solidarity of sentiments?
One of the main reasons why herders in a commons have usually managed to keep from overgrazing the pastures is that:
they trust each other
What emerges from the dialogue of solidarities?
solidarities of solidarities, within families, organizations, villages ect.-->community
What tale does Peggy Petrzelka tell about the two Moroccan villages of Tilmi and M’semrir as these relate to: a) the agdal system, and b) community life?
a) grazing schedules & any disputes are worked out through a local representative counsel of herders known as the jemaa b) c)
changes that come only from on high encourage what
foot dragging on part of those down below, & encourage authoritarianism on the part of those up above
what is the "top" and "bottom" of the dialogue of effective social and environmental change?
top = our patterns of social organization based on government, the economy, technology & other social structures. bottom = social activitsm, the citizen pressure that indicates that change is desired & therefore ultimately possible
The 1970s-style approach to development rarely bothered to ask what crucial question of local people?
"what do you want?"
What is participatory democracy?
involving local people as equal partners & leaders in development projects ensures a sense of ownership-of sentimental commitment- to a project
Over the past 40 years, the typical approach of agricultural scientists working on the problems of tropical agriculture has been to encourage:
peasant farmers to adopt hybrid crop varieties developed by the scientists themselves
In the view of social scientist Jess Bentley, any solutions farmers devise for themselves are far more likely to be:
relevent to their ecological, economic, cultural, and agricultural circumstances
Bentley suggests that one village woman’s idea to spray the crops with sugar water has several advantages typical of local innovations. What are these?
1) cheap, sugar water = inexpensive 2) relies on easily accessible local materials 3) local people understand completely, which should allow them to refine the idea >further inovations 4) safe for environment & farmers 5) own idea - a sense of ownership
What is the point of participatory democracy?
to get a dialogue going between local people & scientists; between local knowledge & expert knowledge
What is the basic idea of smart growth?
to reject the standard polarization between anti-growth naysayers & pro growth yea-sayers, familiar to development controversies across the country
What are the good economic reasons for pursuing smart growth?
its expensive to construct & maintain the necessary roads, sewer lines & power lines & to provide police, fire and emergancy services spread to spread out developments
What is the basic idea of new urbanism?
to model new developments on the kind of traditional neighborhoods that cities routinely turn into historic districts
How does new urbanism promote smart growth and community in the social sense?
helps reduce the impact of development on community
What is the key principle of industrial ecology?
about treating industy as a part of ecologic systems as opposed to a means of dominating ecologic systems
The idea of community is closely intertwined with what two other ideas?
idea of equality - and the idea of inequality
Each of the three central issues of environmentalism – sustainability, environmental justice, and the rights and beauty of nature – challenges a different dimension of the boundaries of moral concern. What are these?
sustainability- considers how we draw boundries of concern between present & future generations. environmental- considers boundries between human groups. beauty of nature- boundries between humans and the rest of creation
Ornstein and Ehrlich argue that we humans can consciously rewire our brains to think long-term. Mitchell argues that rather than out-think our evolutionary limitations, we should invoke them. How does she suggest we do this?
create a legend that humans can embrace
The answer to addressing our environmental problems will not lie in explaining the science ever more carefully to the converted. Rather, another potential incentive is called for. This is:
we must bring the science to life in tales that capture the imagination
No matter how capable humans are of understanding science, science will never have the emotional force of:
C.S. Lewis wrote that myth carries meaning in a way that ________________________ cannot.
rational truth telling

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