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 `

Humans and Nature

Humans and nature

In this chapter we examine in what ways and to what extent the risks and issues now thought of as ‘environmental’ concern and engage people. How do people comprehend and learn to live with the myriad of risks that seem to absorb daily life? Has environmental concern helped to constitute new forms of human identity and social relations, or led to new public values and worldviews? How concerned are people with environmental threats that can no longer be sensed, and whose effects transcend conventional categories of time? How far has this concern led to shifts in public behaviour, or to a heightened sense of responsibility towards producing a better environment? And does public concern and engagement with environmental matters symbolise ...

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