Presents a provocatively anthropocentric analysis of the way forward for green politics and environmental movements, exposing the deficiencies and contradictions of green approaches to post-modern politics and deep ecology. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
community reflecting on itself, uncovering its history, exploring its present predicament, and contemplating its future.  One aspect of this awakening is a process of philosophical reflection. As a philosophical approach, a socialecology investigates the ontological, epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of the relationship between the social and the ecological, and seeks the practical wisdom that results from such reflection. It seeks to give us, as beings situated in the course of real human and natural history, (...) guidance in facing specific challenges and opportunities. In doing so, it develops an analysis that is both holistic and dialectical, and a social practice that might best be described as an eco-communitarianism. (shrink)
For all their antagonism, deep and socialecology do share at least this much: a lack of interest in the issues of animal rights, animal welfare, and vegetarianism. I argue that this disinterest is inconsistent with deep and socialecology's practical programs and philosophical foundations. Furthermore, while they ignore the animals' case for special moral recognition, both schools nevertheless exploit our special feelings (pro and con) toward animals in order to advance their own agendas concerning nature.
The roots of socialecology are embedded in the fertile soil that was the Hawkesbury Diploma in Rural Extension, first offered in 1970, at what was then known as Hawkesbury Agricultural College and now the University of Western Sydney. The program changed its title to Graduate Diploma in Extension in 1974, and again in 1982, to Graduate Diploma in Social Communication. During this period the key features of the program remained the same: it was always highly experiential; (...) it overtly fostered the learner's growth in self esteem; and it espoused the goal of measuring learning against a yardstick of social relevance. (shrink)
Can ?assumed? knowledges exist in a changing society? This article will move from Margaret Mead's thought to explore the opportunity of an ecological approach to all evolutive systems, that is single, social, or relating to context systems. Although this approach, called ?ecology of relations? or ?socialecology,? moves from classical development models it is open to new ?developments? perspective and to co-evolutive perspective to cooperation. The article will focus on relation networks, especially cultural and educational networks, (...) which characterize co-adaptive relation between living systems (but also ?co-living? meant as ?living with the others? systems) and living contexts in which everyone is, at the same time, both an ?in development? system (that involves individual processes) and an ?of development? system (that involves interpersonal processes). (shrink)
It is usually the case that scientists examine either ecological systems or social systems, yet the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the problems of environmental management and sustainable development is becoming increasingly obvious. Developed under the auspices of the Beijer Institute in Stockholm, this new book analyses social and ecological linkages in selected ecosystems using an international and interdisciplinary case study approach. The chapters provide detailed information on a variety of management practices for dealing with environmental change. (...) Taken as a whole, the book will contribute to the greater understanding of essential social responses to changes in ecosystems, including the generation, accumulation and transmission of ecological knowledge, structure and dynamics of institutions, and the cultural values underlying these responses. A set of new (or rediscovered) principles for sustainable ecosystem management is also presented. Linking Social and Ecological Systems will be of value to natural and social scientists interested in sustainability. (shrink)
Should we grant rights to artificially intelligent robots? Most current and near-future robots do not meet the hard criteria set by deontological and utilitarian theory. Virtue ethics can avoid this problem with its indirect approach. However, both direct and indirect arguments for moral consideration rest on ontological features of entities, an approach which incurs several problems. In response to these difficulties, this paper taps into a different conceptual resource in order to be able to grant some degree of moral consideration (...) to some intelligent social robots: it sketches a novel argument for moral consideration based on social relations. It is shown that to further develop this argument we need to revise our existing ontological and social-political frameworks. It is suggested that we need a socialecology, which may be developed by engaging with Western ecology and Eastern worldviews. Although this relational turn raises many difficult issues and requires more work, this paper provides a rough outline of an alternative approach to moral consideration that can assist us in shaping our relations to intelligent robots and, by extension, to all artificial and biological entities that appear to us as more than instruments for our human purposes. (shrink)
Here we attempt to define a specifically human ecology within which male reproductive strategies are formulated. By treating the domestic and public spheres of social life as "ecological niches" that men have been forced to compete within or to avoid as best they can, we generate a typology of four "social modes" of human male behavior. We then attempt to explain the broad distribution of social modes within and between human groups based on the relative intensity (...) of scramble and contest competition. (shrink)
The power and the promise of deep ecology is seen, by its supporters and detractors alike, to lie in its claims to speak on behalf of a natural world threatened by human excesses. Yet, to speak of trees as trees or nature as something worthy of respect in itself has appeared increasingly difficult in the light of social constructivist accounts of “nature.” Deep ecology has been loath to take constructivism’s insightsseriously, retreating into forms of biological objectivism and (...) reductionism. Yet, deep ecology actually has much in common with, and much to gain from, some varieties of constructivism and can add a new dimension to constructivism’s own critique of current ideologies. (shrink)
Abstract Experience is structured by thoughts which are composed of general concepts and conceptions of objects. Both of these elements of thought are rule?governed and rest on norms which are shared by thinkers. Concepts and conceptions of objects as the elements of thoughts whose content is essentially communicable plausibly rest on abilities tied to the use of linguistic terms. This suggests that language plays an active part in structuring human experience and cognition as suggested by both Vygotsky and Luria. The (...) role of language in thought implies that the human brain which is the information processing structure realizing thoughts is itself subject to shaping by the social milieu. Neural network theory suggests that this might proceed via the use of cue stimuli based on the responses of other human beings and, therefore, supports the view that cognitive neuroscience may be radically mistaken in thinking that it can provide an individualistic analysis of human mental life. (shrink)
The struggle for the recognition of indigenous rights is one of the most important social movements in Mexico. Before the 1970s, existing peasant organizations did not represent indigenous concerns. Since 1975 there has been a resurgence of indigenous movements and have raised new demands and defense of their cultural values. However, indigenous social mobilization had been laid in local and regional peasant struggles across the 1970s and 1980s. Also the indigenous movement is not homogeneous and does not include (...) all ethnic groups in the country, but it has many different expressions and encompasses different entities at local, regional and national levels. This paper aims to analyze the historical social approach and under the frame of indigenous political ecology of social movements for recognition of indigenous rights in contemporary Mexico. (shrink)
This paper attempts to bridge business ethics to corporate social responsibility including the social and environmental dimensions. The objective of the paper is to suggest a conceptual methodology with which ethics of corporate environmental management tools can be considered. The method includes two stages that are required for a shift away from the current dominant unsustainable paradigm and toward a more sustainable paradigm. The first stage is paradigmatic, metaphoric and normative. The second stage is a practical stage, which (...) in turn, is analytic, descriptive and positive. The method is applied to common industrial metabolism tools of ecological footprints (EF), environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) and industrial ecology (IE). The application shows that all three tools can be used in business ethics, in particular, when the first stage of the method is applied to their use. (shrink)
Qualitative Complexity offers a critique of the humanist paradigm in contemporary social theory. Drawing from sources in sociology, philosophy, complexity theory, 'fuzzy logic', systems theory, cognitive science and evolutionary biology, the authors present a new series of interdisciplinary perspectives on the sociology of complex, self-organizing structures.
Bringing together some of the most eminent thinkers in the field, this book celebrates the seminal contribution of Ted Benton to such pressing themes as: realism, naturalism and the philosophy of the social sciences, the continuing relevance of Marxism, philosophical anthropology and human needs, and ecology, society and natural limits.
The destructive tension between human needs and environmental conservation arises from flaws in our political and economic structures. Oppression of people and devastation of nature go hand in hand, and the root of both these evils is the denial of otherness. The ecology movement is basically a movement of liberation, and is in league, de jure and de facto, with other liberation movements, since it seeks to promote the rights ofthe nonhuman world. In this context, subjugation of the Other (...) is immoral in all forms and ultimately suicidal. Recognition of the value of nonhuman nature doesn’t preclude a rational use of it, but requires something analogous to the primitive custom of apologizing to the spirits of prey, i.e., a mixture of religious respect and common sense. Awareness of the beauty and power of nature, like awareness ofthe injured rights of our fellow humans, creates a revolutionary moral imperative to change the life of our society. (shrink)
This paper presents a conceptual link among green marketing, environmental justice, and industrial ecology. It argues for greater awareness of environmental justice in the practice of green marketing. In contrast with the type of costs commonly discussed in the literature, the paper identified another type of costs, termed "costs with positive results," that may be associated with the presence of environmental justice in green marketing. A research agenda is finally suggested to determine consumers'' awareness of environmental justice, and their (...) willingness to bear the costs associated with it. (shrink)
The traditional organizational boundaries between healthcare, social work, police and other non-profit organizations are fading and being replaced by new relational patterns among a variety of disciplines. Professionals work from their own history, role, values and relationships. It is often unclear who is responsible for what because this new network structure requires rules and procedures to be re-interpreted and re-negotiated. A new moral climate needs to be developed, particularly in the early stages of integrated services. Who should do what, (...) with whom and why? Departing from a relational and hermeneutic perspective, this article shows that professionals in integrated service networks embark upon a moral learning process when starting to work together for the client’s benefit. In this context, instrumental ways of thinking about responsibilities are actually counterproductive. Instead, professionals need to find out who they are in relation to other professionals, what core values they share and what responsibilities derive from these aspects. This article demonstrates moral learning by examining the case of an integrated social service network. The network’s development and implementation were supported by responsive evaluation, enriched by insights of care ethics and hermeneutic ethics. (shrink)
Ambitiously identifying fresh issues in the study of complex systems, Peter J. Taylor, in a model of interdisciplinary exploration, makes these concerns accessible to scholars in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and science studies. Unruly Complexity explores concepts used to deal with complexity in three realms: ecology and socio-environmental change; the collective constitution of knowledge; and the interpretations of science as they influence subsequent research. For each realm Taylor shows that unruly complexity-situations that lack definite boundaries, (...) where what goes on "outside" continually restructures what is "inside," and where diverse processes come together to produce change-should not be suppressed by partitioning complexity into well-bounded systems that can be studied or managed from an outside vantage point. Using case studies from Australia, North America, and Africa, he encourages readers to be troubled by conventional boundaries-especially between science and the interpretation of science-and to reflect more self-consciously on the conceptual and practical choices researchers make. (shrink)
Eating is the most intimate relationship people can have with their environment. As people have migrated, in very large numbers, from various parts of the globe, as well as from the countryside to the city, they have brought to their new homes not only their intimate familial relationships, but also their intimate environmental relationships. Intraand international trade in human foods and animal feeds amounting to billions of dollars annually support these transplanted eating habits. Infectious disease agents, toxins and environmental contaminants (...) of all sorts are globally distributed along with these foods. Furthermore, the internationalization of a substantial portion of the food industry, along with urbanization, has resulted in unrealistic consumer perceptions of food, and fostered ecologically and socially unsound food production and food safety practices, which themselves are creating new food safety problems. Effective food safety strategies, which by necessity must account for the contamination of the environment in which the food is grown, as well as the environments through which it passes on the way to the consumer, need to be global in both breadth (socially and geographically) and depth (ecologically). As well, the desire for democratic social control now evident throughout the world, along with this diversity of culinary tastes, suggest that a successful global food safety strategy would do well to reflect the kinds of diversity and complex interactions seen in natural ecosystems. (shrink)
This essay extends Levins'' 1966 analysis of modelbuilding in ecology and evolutionary biology. Amodel, as the product of modeling, might bevalued according to its correspondence to reality. Yet Levins'' emphasis on provisionality and changeredirects attention to the processes ofmodeling, through which scientists select and generatetheir problems, define their categories, collect theirdata, compare competing models, and present theirfindings. I identify several points where decisionsare required that are not determined by nature. Thisinvites examination of the social considerationsmodelers are reacting to (...) at the sites of sociality.Modelers must weave socio-ecological webs so thatthe models can be seen to represent their subjectmatter at the same time as the modelers secure thesupport of colleagues, collaborators and institutions,and enjoin others to act upon their conclusions. Notonly do theory justification and theory generationmerge, but the joint project becomes simultaneouslyphilosophical and sociological. (shrink)
Ecological and social systems are complex and entwined. Complex social-ecological systems interact in a multitude of ways at many spatial scales across time. Their interactions can contribute both positive and negative consequences in terms of sustainability and the context in which they exist affecting future landscape change. Non-metropolitan landscapes are the major theatre of interactions where large-scale alteration occurs precipitated by local to global forces of economic, social, and environmental change. Such regional landscape effects are critical also (...) to local natural resource and social sustainability. The institutions contributing pressures and responses consequently shape future landscapes and in turn influence how social systems, resource users, governments, and policy makers perceive those landscapes and their future. Science and policy for "sustainable" futures need to be integrated at the applied "on-ground" level where products and effects of system interactions are fully included, even if unobserved. Government agencies and funding bodies often consider such research as "high-risk". This paper provides some examples of interdisciplinary research that has provided a level of holistic integration through close engagement with landholders and communities or through deliberately implementing integrative and innovative on-ground experimental models. In retrospect, such projects have to some degree integrated through spatial (if not temporal) synthesis, policy analysis, and (new or changed) institutional arrangements that are relevant locally and acceptable in business, as well as at broader levels of government and geography. This has provided transferable outcomes that can contribute real options and adaptive capacity for suitable positive futures. (shrink)
Agency in Archaeology is the first critical volume to scrutinize the concept of agency and to examine in-depth its potential to inform our understanding of the past. Theories of agency recognize that human beings make choices, hold intentions and take action. This offers archaeologists scope to move beyond looking at the broad structural or environmental change and instead to consider the individual and the group. The book brings together nineteen internationally renowned scholars who have very different, and often conflicting, stances (...) on the meaning and use of agency theory to archaeology. (shrink)
Biofuels have lately been indicated as a promising source of cheap and sustainable energy. In this paper we argue that some important ethical and environmental issues have also to be addressed: (1) the conflict between biofuels production and global food security, particularly in developing countries, and (2) the limits of the Human Appropriation of ecosystem services and Net Primary Productivity. We warn that large scale conversion of crops, grasslands, natural and semi-natural ecosystem, (such as the conversion of grasslands to cellulosic (...) ethanol production, or plantation of sugar cane and palm oil), may have detrimental social and ecological consequences. Social effects may concern: (1) food security, especially in developing countries, leading to an increase of the price of staple food, (2) transnational corporations and big landowners establishing larger and larger landholdings in conflict with indigenous areas and the subsistence of small farmers. Ecological effects may concern: (1) competition with grazing wild and domesticated animals (e.g., millions of grazing livestock in USA prairies), (2) an excessive appropriation of Net Primary Production from ecosystems, (3) threatening biodiversity preservation and soil fertility. We claim that is it well known how ecological and social issues are strictly interwoven and that large scale biofuels production, by putting high pressure on both fronts, may trigger dangerous feedbacks, also considering the critical fact that 9 billion people are expected to inhabit the planet by 2050. There is a need to conduct serious and deep analysis on the environmental and social impact of large scale biofuels production before important energy policies are launched at global level. Biofuels will not represent an energetic panacea and their role in the overall energy consumption will remain marginal in our present highly energivorous society, while their effect on food security and environment preservation may have detrimental results. We should also have the courage to face two key issues: (1) we cannot keep increasing resources consumption at present pace, and have to change our life style accordingly, and (2) we have to deal with population growth; we cannot expect to have 9–10 billions people inhabiting the earth by 2050, without this representing a major impact on its support system. (shrink)
Science and technology (S&T) policy studies has explored the relationship between the structure of scientific research and the attainment of desired outcomes. Due to the difficulty of measuring them directly, S&T policy scholars have traditionally equated “outcomes” with several proxies for evaluation, including economic impact, and academic output such as papers published and citations received. More recently, scholars have evaluated science policies through the lens of Public Value Mapping, which assesses scientific programs against societal values. Missing from these approaches is (...) an examination of the social activities within the scientific enterprise that affect research outputs and outcomes. We contend that activities that significantly affect research trajectories take place at the levels of individual researchers and their communities, and that S&T policy scholars must take heed of this activity in their work in order to better inform policy. Based on primary research of two scientific communities—ecologists and sustainability scientists—we demonstrate that research agendas are actively shaped by parochial epistemic and normative concerns of the scientists and their disciplines. S&T policy scholarship that explores how scientists balance these concerns, alongside more formal science policies and incentive structures, will enhance understanding of why certain science policies fail or succeed and how to more effectively link science to beneficial social outcomes. (shrink)