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GEOG2210 Chpt 8 Summary

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GEOG 2210
Ben Bradshaw

Chapter 8 summary Chapter TitleSocial Construction of Nature Keywords Social ConstructionAny category condition or thing that exists or is understood to have certain characteristics because people socially agree it doesIE Borneo forest national park Rustic inn mosquito netted beds Tour guides who seem nativetrails that seem rugged and natural but have English signage What you think you see and what you do see are influenced by other people The combination of indigenous and scientific representation of that area these ideas images and assumptions are all socially constructedmade up piece by pieceelsewhere by other peopleWildernessA parcel of land more or less unaffected by human forces increasingly wilderness is viewed as a social constructionIE Tropical rain forestAuthentic as nature gets right A protect treasure of biodiversity Wouldnt wilderness need to be fully separate from its opposite societyThe answer may seem selfevident but a constructivist perspective starts by looking behind these obvious answers by asking for an examplewhat unspoken assumptions are buried within the ideas of authenticity protection and wildernessOnce we ask these questions we begin to scrutinize our experience of the environment and we begin to see how nature is a product of social processes beliefs ideologies and historyConstructivistEmphasizing the significance of concepts ideologies and social practices to our understanding and making of literally constructing the worldNatureThe natural world everything that exists that is not a product of human activity often put in quotes to designate that it is difficult if not impossible to divvy up the entire world into discrete natural and human componentsThe nature in the forest is socially constructed in 2 ways 1 our ideas of pristine and authentic are not just raw mental ideas that come from thin air instead they are products of culture media etc2 The Park itself is a construct rather than a fragment of raw asocial nature captured and frozen in time Even before the park the indigenous people were managing the area farming raising animals etc Therefore this natural park is a product of biophysical processes a specific physical enviro and a long history of humansRaymond Williams famous words Nature is perhaps the most complex word in the English languageIt has three meanings 1 The essential quality and character of something 2 the inherent force which directs either the world or human beings or both 3 the material world itself taken as including or not
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