Exam - Definitions

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University of Toronto St. George
Annette Bickford

1) Anarchist Style Organizing a) Definition: o calls for a system of public ownership of means of production, a system of consensus with no more cohesion o social anarchism rejects private property, o Values that a society should be organized on a purely voluntary basis without any form of cohesion. o Comes from the Greek meaning without hierarchy o Organization without force or someone above giving orders. o A theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder). b.) Significance: o Anarchism asks you to reject government and all forms of authority, to question their very existence and legitimacy. o To see the real possibilities and potentials for mankind you need to be able to think outside the box completely. In a sense anarchism gives you an objective view of political potentialities; it calls for the complete freedom of man from all forms of authority and oppression. If we cannot dream of such then we have forsaken the potential (and perhaps goal) of the future already. o Thomas Jefferson said, Question everything with boldness, even the very existence of god. One could say there are many things in society that appear as gods: government, two parties, necessity of a military, crony capitalism, etc. As Herbert Marcuse explains in One-Dimensional Man, the problem with man today is that he no longer looks at what ought, but what is. Too often what is is seen as rational, not what ought to be. These modern day gods, like the idea of a deity are left unquestioned because they are a given assumption. If we are to escape this prison of our own thoughts, anarchism provides a possible way by breaking all assumptions, even if viewed as a somewhat romanticized ideal from another time and place when things appeared less under control and people dared to dream big. c.) Examples (x2): o Revolutionary Catalonia in the late 20s was a part of Catalonia Spain controlled by anarchists and socialist trade unions/parties during the Spanish Civil War. During this revolution workers gained control of businesses and factories , collectivization of farmland from nationalists and the catholic clergy o An epic example in our time, an anarchic act would be the pulling down of the Suddam Hussain statue during the war in Iraq. Though there is speculation that the press did it, it is an example of dismantling (literally) an established hierarchy and the rejection of rules that the people were forced to believe would keep the weak alive. 2) Anthropocentrism a.) Definition: o The idea that humans are the most important being in the universe. o Interpreting the world in terms of human values and experiences o Term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism: the tendency for humans to regard themselves as being the most prominent being in the universe b.) Significance: o This ideology promoted the idea of the great chain of being (proposed that animals, plants, and all non-living things lack a mortal soul and awareness, therefore they are at our disposal and ultimately wont suffer), which became the basic ideology of western moral thought o Influences ethical judgments about interactions with other organisms. These ethics are often used to legitimize treating other species in ways that would be considered morally unacceptable if humans were similarly treated. For example, animals are often treated very cruelly during the normal course of events in medical research and agriculture. This prejudiced treatment of other species has been labeled "speciesism by ethicists. o Another implication of the anthropocentric view is the belief that humans rank at the acme of the natural evolutionary progression of species and of life. This belief is in contrast to the modern biological interpretation of evolution, which suggests that no species are "higher" than any others, although some clearly have a more ancient evolutionary lineage, or may occur as relatively c.) Examples (x2): o Any species that are of potential use to humans can be a "resource" to be exploited. This use often occurs in an unsustainable fashion that results in degradation, sometimes to the point of extinction of the biological resource, as has occurred with the dodo, great auk, and other animals. If man believed that animals were equally important in ecology, then protecting them would take a higher priority.o Christian Evangelicals often hold anthropocentric views when it comes to natural resources and the debate on climate change. Many evangelicals neglect the facts when it comes to climate change and the human influence on our ecology, for they hold high the belief that natural resources such as fuel, water, trees, etc., are on earth purely for human disposal and we should not commit any effort in preserving these resources, for they were made by god for us to exploit. 3) Climate Ethnography a.) Definition: Climate Ethnography is a methodology that positively addresses how local groups can inform the global community about taking action in response to climate change. b.) Explanation: Susan Crate describes this methodology as urgent, reflexive and critically collaborative. What she can mean by urgency is that this issue needs to be addressed now rather than later and that direct action needs to be taken. As Professor Bickford mentioned in lecture, it is more cost effective to conserve the Earth now than later. Reflexivity refers to how anthropologists relate their field of research to themselves and the social constructs that they take for
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