“Coral Gardens and Their Magic”(1935) of B. Malinowski represents part of the “mythical legacy” of the foundation of cultural anthropology; at the same time, it remains not only an unstudied book but it reveals an ancient denial and difficulty in taking into account the relationships between cultures and environments in a dynamic perspectives. Malinowski was well aware that that “primitive forms of tilling the soil” posed the centrality of “the relation of man and environment” but also that that issue was less “sensational” at that time and therefore, less publishable. In these removed legacy, the dichotomy of culture/nature are posited and will later encounter new contradictions in reading society/environment relationship constrained through deterministic models, both evolutionary as much as constructivist, or by denying the relatedness of culture and environment. The scenarios of environmental intensive changes, both in the forms of climate change as much as in the vulnerability in resource management, are today at the heart in conceiving futures. This urges cultural anthropology to put back culture in the environment, as it happened at its foundation: models of complexity, the study of local knowledge and their flexibility facing changes and the study itself of the denial of our environmental interconnectedness. Further, anthropology needs to reintegrate futures in its ethnographic tools not as predictions but in the way cultures perceive, imagine and incorporate the future in their practices, an issue at the centre of the knowledge of limits, of relation with non-human agents, of commons, in relation to the critic of the hegemonic fascination for consumption that we have taken often for granted in our models of understanding.

VAN AKEN, M. (2016). "Coral gardens" and their Denials. Culture, Environment and the Uncertainties of the Future. ANTROPOLOGIA, 3(1), 90-109 [10.14672/ada2016437%p].

"Coral gardens" and their Denials. Culture, Environment and the Uncertainties of the Future

VAN AKEN, MAURO IVO
2016

Abstract

“Coral Gardens and Their Magic”(1935) of B. Malinowski represents part of the “mythical legacy” of the foundation of cultural anthropology; at the same time, it remains not only an unstudied book but it reveals an ancient denial and difficulty in taking into account the relationships between cultures and environments in a dynamic perspectives. Malinowski was well aware that that “primitive forms of tilling the soil” posed the centrality of “the relation of man and environment” but also that that issue was less “sensational” at that time and therefore, less publishable. In these removed legacy, the dichotomy of culture/nature are posited and will later encounter new contradictions in reading society/environment relationship constrained through deterministic models, both evolutionary as much as constructivist, or by denying the relatedness of culture and environment. The scenarios of environmental intensive changes, both in the forms of climate change as much as in the vulnerability in resource management, are today at the heart in conceiving futures. This urges cultural anthropology to put back culture in the environment, as it happened at its foundation: models of complexity, the study of local knowledge and their flexibility facing changes and the study itself of the denial of our environmental interconnectedness. Further, anthropology needs to reintegrate futures in its ethnographic tools not as predictions but in the way cultures perceive, imagine and incorporate the future in their practices, an issue at the centre of the knowledge of limits, of relation with non-human agents, of commons, in relation to the critic of the hegemonic fascination for consumption that we have taken often for granted in our models of understanding.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
denial, local knowledge, environment, future
English
90
109
20
VAN AKEN, M. (2016). "Coral gardens" and their Denials. Culture, Environment and the Uncertainties of the Future. ANTROPOLOGIA, 3(1), 90-109 [10.14672/ada2016437%p].
VAN AKEN, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/143253
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