Ethnicity and Nature

The relationship between ethnicity and nature has often focused on a notion of essentialized identities. People and place are linked, in this view, not as mutually constitutive social and cultural constructs but rather as immutable and static objects and subjectivities. Ethnicity has often been viewed, therefore, as a way of expressing assumed relationships between particular communities and specific regional landscapes and resources or through the cultural and economic practices of a given population. Such linkages have sometimes been normalized and reified to the point that the particular racial, national, or ethnic heritage of a group begins to define a landscape itself or vice versa. We begin to talk therefore of an English countryside, a Canadian prairie landscape, or a Rajasthani desert. Similarly, we may begin ...

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