By Derrick Jensen

ISBN-10: 1931498555

ISBN-13: 9781931498555

Without delay a superbly poetic memoir and an exploration of a few of the methods we are living on the planet, A Language Older Than Words explains violence as a pathology that touches each point of our lives and certainly impacts all features of lifestyles in the world. This chronicle of a tender man's force to go beyond household abuse deals a tough examine our around the world feel of group and the way we will be able to fix things.

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In other words, an ecosystem economy might be expected to engender a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Biosphere people do not experience the same constraints. They draw on a wide range of ecosystems to meet their needs, and if supplies from one source are 29 ANTHROPOLOGY, CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENTALISM exhausted or destroyed, they turn to another. Biosphere people therefore might be less likely to feel the need to protect any one ecosystem; a biosphere economy is more likely to engender a cavalier exploitative attitude than a sense of environmental responsibility.

At one time, the assumption that culture has something to do with the relationship between human beings and their environment would have been uncontroversial within anthropology, but during the past three decades, the relevance of culture to an understanding of human ecology has become uncertain and has even been denied. The uncertainty is reflected in the two quotations at the beginning of this chapter, neither of which mentions culture. Both refer to phenomena, ‘society’ and ‘behaviour’, which, until about thirty years ago, would have been accepted by almost all anthropologists as part of culture, but which, following the developments outlined in Chapter 1, are now often excluded from a concept of culture which has come to refer to people’s feelings, thoughts and knowledge about the world.

Given the various ways in which the environment itself is culturally defined, it is possible to envisage a society in which a concern for the environment is strongly held, but in which agents other than human beings are seen as responsible for its protection: ancestral spirits, for instance, or an all-powerful divine being. Defined in these terms, environmentalism is unambiguously part of culture in the narrower sense of that term identified above. In other words, it is a part of the way in which people understand the world and their place within it.

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A Language Older Than Words by Derrick Jensen


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