ANT100Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Leo Marx, Power (Social And Political)

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Published on 28 Nov 2011
ANT 110 – Lecture 8 – Nov 1
19th century – putting all of nature on display (the relationship btwn humans and nature
gets rescripted and captured in a different way = new world view)
romanticism – engineer as new Prometheus (critique = Frankenstein, taking nature into
our own hands and we have to take responsibility for it) – problemetising the role of the
scientist – ethical critique (Jurassic park)
modern times – boundary btwn a human and a machine is becoming very blurred (small
percentage of people experience leisure while the others are working) – the people
become like the machines themselves
new critique of the city – crowded, dirty, work, alienation – the tramp going into the
imaginary pastoral place (cow and milk) sense that the country side becomes a pastoral
landscape that acts as a counterpart to the ils of city living – love, food, tranquil,
the ending is them going off into the wilderness (paradise lost)
the little shack they set up – is kind of ambiguous (btwn wilderness and city)
- different scriptings of nature
Reading: Leo Marx – The Garden
Second nature –karl marx - thought that anything that was scene and used by humans
becomes second nature
Nature untouched by humans = first nature
Nature with some human involvement = second nature
We enter into an instrumental relationship with nature = second nature
China Syndrome – 1979 – context of romantic reaction
- not a critique along the lines of Frankenstein, but it takes us one step farther, into
a critique of Capitalizations of nature – the way in which nature becomes
harvested in a capitalist economy
- major theme of the film is a tension between the nuclear power itself and its
containment (it needs the engineers and the scientists)
- it exists in a field of social power relations
- we’re putting nature into a social context into relationships concerning power
(class, race, gender, age, sexuality)
- nature within a social field that is uneven (in distributions of power)
- landscape where there are fault lines of power, clashing interests
- fault line of power around a nuclear power generator (major issues of safety
- situation where they want a profit, and they want to keep everyone safe
- production as a commodity is part of it profitization – so when there’s trouble at
the plant, if they want to shut it down they have to think about profit
- safety issue would shut it down – safety people would determine if it’s unsafe
- what happens if things get unsafe – maintain a sense of secrecy
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