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Domination of Nature

  • By: Brian J. Gareau
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The phrase domination of nature implies a neo-Marxist interpretation of the adverse effects that modern society has had on the natural environment. In this interpretation, ecological destruction by society must be understood as being deeply rooted in contemporary social attitudes toward the natural environment. These attitudes see the natural environment as something that must be controlled or dominated by humans through science and technological advancements. Although commonly associated with 17th-century scientific thought, the phrase gained popularity in the mid-1960s, when widespread concern for the environmental impact of industrial society took off in the developed world. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, concerns about the effect of industrial society on the environment, and its link to attitudes of mastery over nature predominant in the ...

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