ANTH1030 EXAM notes Semester 2.docx

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University of Queensland
Gerhard Hoffstaedter

ANTH1030 notes - What is anthropology? The study of culture and humans. Interactions between humans and other animals How humans relate to the environment - What are some of the tools anthropologists use? Focus groups but uncontrolled environments Ethnographic fieldwork (A branch of anthropology dealing with the scientific description of individual cultures.) Senses Communication methods - What can anthropology add to the study of contemporary world issues? Tries to understand other world views, other people, their cultures, the way they do things – tries to contextualise and communicate this In order to create resolutions of conflict Course outline: - Core concepts in the Anthropology of World Issues: Globalisation, Super- modernity and beyond - Human animals: Ferality, the law and the anthropologist  Pig hunting: How it’s done and what it means o ‘Nature’ and ‘Culture’: history and use of concepts o Theory in practice: conflicts over feral pig management in Far North Queensland  The contested ethics of animal death  Environmental management is not just about the environment. It’s about people too  Anthropological research, activism and the anthropologist o Nature, culture and the environment  The conceptual division of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ is a culturally and historically specific classification of things 1  Timothy Ingold depicts the difference between ‘Western’ and ‘indigenous’ human-environment relationships using the metaphor of ‘globes’ and ‘spheres’  The world as a globe: we are taught that this is what the earth looks like, although none of us, with a handful of exceptions, has ever seen it  In short, from a global perspective, it is on the surface of the world, not at its centre, that life is lived.  The world as a sphere: The lifeworld, imaged from an experiential centre, is spherical in form  Consequently...Ingold charges that for the globalists... To intervene in the world implies the possibility of our choosing not to do so. It implies that human beings can launch their interventions from a platform above the world, as though they could live on or off the environment, but are not destined to live within it The notion of the global environment, far from marking humanities reintegration into the world, signals the culmination of a process of separation. o Study area: Wet Tropics of Far North Queensland  Far North Queensland’s rainforest was not considered ecologically significant until the late 1970s  Campaign to save the Daintree was one of Australia’s first ‘successes’ for the Australian environmental movement  But the long term result has been deep rifts over the environment o An Anthropological study of environmental management  Everyone agrees pigs are a problem but no one can agree how they should be managed  Two oppositional groups of overlapping identities  Greenies, Ecologists and Natural Resource Managers vs Locals, Hunters and Land holders o Feral Pigs  Estimated 4-6 million pigs in QLD, 75% in the Tropical Far North  Reasons why pigs are deemed a pest:  Purported impacts on biodiversity (but the science is actually not that clear on this)  Pigs cause agricultural damage to sugarcane and banana plantations  Pigs are vectors for agricultural and zoonotic diseases o Pigs’ legal status 2  Pigs are “sort of” defined as pests according to both Queensland and Commonwealth Laws  Federal legislation refers to ‘threatening processes’: Predation, Habitat degradation, Competition and Disease Transmission by Feral Pigs o What constitutes legitimate killing?  Live-catch pig trapping – State sanctioned method of control o Regulation of trapping  QLD legislation specifies where a pig should be shot, how many times and with what weaponry o Pig hunting  Encompasses a broad range of practices, in a range of environments and using a range of technologies  Hunting is illegal in national parks in QLD – can only take place on private property with the landholders consent  One kind of hunting that is tailored to the local area is sugarcane hunting o Hunting and management are not the same thing, but not distinct either. Social and environmental relationships are constituted simultaneously o Engagement with the environment takes place at an individual level. Trapping and hunting are practices where individuals are embedded in close relationships with their quarry. o It’s not about the activity and impact on the animal. It’s about the purposes and intentions of the actor. o Population is more important than individual. Management is purely environmental. o With hunting there is a killer. With baiting there isn’t. This is a detachment of humans from the environment o It could be argued that controlling feral pig populations to low levels with effective control tools can result in improved welfare outcomes since large numbers of potential ‘environmental’ deaths of feral pig are avoided. o Separating the animal from its environment is the ultimate detachment! o Ingold describes two modes of engagement that he describes as ‘Western’ and ‘Indigenous’. Here, we have intra-cultural differences: ‘Protective separatists’ and ‘Competitive Dwellers’ o Physical and conceptual closeness track one another. Both sides ‘care’ but ethics of engagement are focussed through different logics o Environmental management produces ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ Health and illness: Culture and science collide? - Biomedical approach vs non-biomedical 3 What is medical anthropology? o It is a sub-discipline of anthropology o Anthropology encompasses 4 fields: 1) Socio-cultural 2) Physical 3) Linguistics 4) Archaeology o Medical anthropology is a sub-field of anthropology that draws on all 4 main branches to understand health and illness processes in all their physical, psychological, socio-political, economic and structural circumstances. o In other words, health and sickness, although manifested on bodies, are social processes. o Anthropologists don’t really look for “traditional” cultures. Rather we are investigators of culture and society as it is in the here and now. o Medical anth asks the basic questions:  When people are sick what do they think and what do they do?  What structures and systems subsume the types and availability of services? o Brief history:  Medical anth brings the history of attitudes to the body full circle:  Hippocratic medicine: Greek holistic medicine, presuming the unity of body and behaviour  Enlightenment 1600s: Arguments for the mind/body dichotomy  Development of biomedicine 1700 onward: mind/body dichotomy was put into practice through the specialisations in medicine (i.e. based on parts of the body, organs systems, the mind) also bio-psycho-social model  Now: slowly there is recognition that physical conditions can be related to psychologies, environments, social settings, economic predicaments etc.  All medical anth shares the same agenda of bringing social aspects into theories of health and sickness and into systems of healing.  However, there are regional variations in what which aspects are emphasised or considered to be relevant  UK: WHR Rivers, a doctor and anthropologist, is arguable the father of medical anth 4  He believed that affliction, sickness and illness could be caused and understood in various ways, and so treatment should also be understood in ways that encompassed society, belief and experience.  North America and Canada:  Preoccupation with multiculturalism and the various illness manifestations; the clinical encounter; biotechnologies; ethnographies of scientific cultures; genetics and ethics (e.g. biobanks, genetic testing)  United States:  The term “medical anthropology” was coined in 1963  40s – categories of biomedicine were applied to non-western societies  30s and 40s – interest in psychology/psychiatry and anth  50s – biomedical approach in non-western societies failed: Foster and Benjamin looked at local cosmologies and systems of health and healing… o Medical anth today:  One of the most thriving sub-fields in anth, and part of most national anth traditions.  Relevance has only increased with globalisation:  Migration: migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons (mixing of people)  Medical Pluralism: Interfacing of different beliefs and customs; anthropologists can understand variations within groups without stereotyping  Current burden of disease: HIV, malaria, TB, malnutrition in developing countries, chronic conditions in developed countries, “double-disease burden” in wealthy sub-populations of poor countries  Anthroplogists can mediate between health planners ( rich countries) and national health systems ( poor countries)  New technologies: IVF, organ transplant, stem cells  Anthropologists engage directly with individuals in their own settings and so bring a particularly holistic perspective to the health field o Relevance and place of Medical Anth:  Global relevance: activism on behalf of the discipline and of the subjects of global initiatives  Anth should contribute to health policy  Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (05): overlooked the conditions that produce inequality and health inequality 5  Anthropologists should participate in discussions and policies surrounding climate change: anthropologists are well-placed to comment on the impacts of climate change, especially with regard to vulnerability o How are health, wellbeing, disease, illness, affliction, sickness and misfortune addressed globally?  Most of the world’s population do not have access to biomedical treatment:  No money  No health system  Live in remote places  Don’t believe in it  Had a bad experience with it  Do not have social access to it (need permission or consent of family member; need same sex practitioner, etc.)  However:  Biomedicine is the dominant health system in the world:  Effective; innovative; funded; believed in; and expanded  But a purely biomedical approach to sickness can miss the point o The situational fact of health  Health does not mean the same thing in all contexts  Health is relational  In terms of other individuals living in the same predicament  Between families  Between cultural groups  Social classes  Over the course of a lifetime  According to stage of life  WHO (1946) Health: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”  Multi-dimensional  Holistic  Includes physical, psychological, social and spiritual health  Health is considered to be a balance amongst various elements in many non-western societies:  Relationship: between people and nature, and between people and the supernatural world  Internal balance: between physical and emotional aspects 6  Lack of balance: ill health  Developed or industrialised countries: Good functioning of the body and mind o Health in poor countries: is weakened by: - Contrasting perspectives of nature and culture: The origins, overlap and consequences of indigeneity and conservationist ideals  Wild rivers 1) Theoretical approaches to environmentalism  We must look below the surface of ‘environmentalism’ – there are multiple theoretical approaches  Objectivism/realism (solid)  Nature is ‘out there’  Exists in a single form  Knowable through empirical observation  Singular morality  Urgency to act  ‘Solid’ analogy  Constructivism (liquid)  Multiple, subjective interpretations of a shared reality  Cultural relativism – all cultures are different but equally valid  Zones of ‘intersubjectivity’  Less militant action; more negotiation  ‘Liquid’ analogy  Post-modernism (gas) 2) A brief history of protected areas: from preservation to conservation via the problematic ‘wilderness’ ideal 3) Environmental conservation and indigenous peoples: A complex dynamic 4) A brief history of The Wilderness Society 5) The Wild Rivers campaign – contesting conservation A brief history of The Wilderness Society (TWS)  Formed in 1935 in the USA 7  Wilderness as “a region which contains no permanent inhabitants...[that] preserves as nearly as possible the primitive environment. This means that all roads, power transportation and settlements are barred.”  “Humans should restrict themselves only to passing through infrequently and briefly as scientific researchers, sport recreationalists, renewing spirits or reverent sightseers.”  Australian branch formed in 1972: “A wilderness area is a large tract of land remote at its core from access and settlement and substantially unmodified by modern technological society...”  Preservationist or conservationist framework? TWS on Indigenous Rights  Political: “We’re really keen to...keep pushing the barrow for Indigenous rights and one of the great things about the Cape [York] Australia it is the biggest conservation and land rights campaign ever. The amount of land that’s been handed back to Traditional phenomenal...and that’s because of green groups and Indigenous groups working together...In a way, it’s...leveraging conservation for land rights outcomes...There are people in this organisation...who are as strong on Indigenous rights as they are on conservation”  Economic: “You can connect...Traditional Owners back to country and back with working on country, sharing skills or developing their own skills,...being employed, putting resources back into the community, and having Traditional Owners being paid to care for their country.” TWS on Wild Rivers  “Local communities, particularly traditional owners, should indeed have a strong say in the future of their region, but Cape York is also a place of national and international significance .The Australian communit
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