Demonstrating that all notions of nature are inextricably entangled in different forms of social life, the text elaborates the many ways in which the apparently natural world has been produced from within particular social practices. These are analyzed in terms of different senses, different times and the production of distinct spaces, including the local, the national and the global. The authors emphasize the importance of cultural understandings of the physical world, highlighting the ways in which these have been routinely misunderstood by academic and policy discourses. They show that popular conceptions of, and attitudes to, nature are often contradictory and that there are no simple ways of prevailing upon people to `

Rethinking Nature and Society

Rethinking nature and society

In this book we seek to show that there is no singular ‘nature’ as such, only a diversity of contested natures; and that each such nature is constituted through a variety of socio-cultural processes from which such natures cannot be plausibly separated. We therefore argue against three doctrines which are widespread in current thinking about nature and the environment. We begin this introductory chapter by briefly outlining these before seeking to develop our own position.

The first, and most important for our subsequent argument, is the claim that the environment is essentially a ‘real entity’, which, in and of itself and substantially separate from social practices and human experience, has the power to produce unambiguous, observable and rectifiable outcomes. ...

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