The construction of societal relationships with nature

Poiesis and Praxis 3 (s 1-2):22-36 (2004)
Abstract
The term biodiversity is constituted as an object of scientific investigations through complex social and, in particular, socio-economic processes. Taking all these processes together we can speak of the global regulation of biodiversity. Conversely, analysing this social construction of nature is at risk of ignoring the material properties of biodiversity. To grasp both aspects, the social construction of biodiversity as well as the elements non-identical to this social construction, the term “societal relationships with nature” from the so called “Frankfurt School of critical theory” is introduced. Starting from this approach, the perspectives of natural and social sciences are not really complementary. The thesis first involves an analysis of the different processes in which biodiversity is generated and presented as an object of social purposes and scientific investigations. Starting from the scientific problems emerging from the introduction of the new term we can come to a better understanding of how scientific research is connected with tendencies of the global society as a whole. Therefore problems of interdisciplinary research are interpreted as elements of the conflicts regarding the shaping of the societal relationships with nature in social reality
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