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Jan 30:Feb 1- How does development shape the physical and social environments in which we live? .pdf

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ANTH 1120
David Murray

30 January - 5 February Jan 30/Feb 1: How does development shape the physical and social environments in which we live? Readings: 1) CA pp. 73-74 (Anthropologists in Development) • P.73 • A failure of development professionals to understand the cultures and values of the people they are trying to help has brought disastrous consequences • Mackenzie delta near western canada Arctic • Home of inuit, metis and dene people living for centuries by hunting, fishing and trapping • After ww2 gov wanted to extract oil, gas and minerals and bring services to modernize life through schooling and wage labour • Create a service town (inuvik) w/ school, commercial and service centre, hospital • Bunch of southerners relocated there bc high salaries (nurses doctors) • Original immigrants stayed unemployed and were overwhelmed by the social and economic advantages of the southerners • Southern and northerns wouldn't interact and tension rose • School curriculum was modelled for urban southerners • Drop out rates became high and alienation of youth were marked in petty crimes and assaults (non existent in original indigenous setting) • native women who had children were transient whites were stigmatized and conflict arose between families that had steady income and the material possessions they could buy and famous dependent on government payments • P.74 • High stress was evident in high rate of alcohol consumption and crimes such as assault, theft and wife battering • The optimism of the government that the new town would better the lives of the native people was misplaced • There was no consultation with the people themselves regarding the changes (everything was planed and implemented by outsiders with their own preexisting notions about both the native communities and what would e good for them) • No one considered the complex interactions between family structure, cultural values, economics, education and new residents • No one attempted to integrate local knowledge into the planning process • No one considered the united consequences of these changes • Canadian anthropologists help indigenous people now and rewrite their history • Anthropological research provides a way for us to piece together the broken cup of secwepemc cultural knowledge, practices and meanings 2) McElroy, Ann & Patricia K. Townsend. 2009. “Profile: Hazardous Waste and the Mohawks at Akwesasne.” In Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective, Fifth Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press: 393-398. • P.393 • In making any law the chiefs must consider: the effect of their decisions on peace; the effect of the natural world; and the effect on seven generations in the future Mohawk indians in urban areas have been famous for decades as ironworkers on skyscrapers • and retain a strong relationship with the beautiful natural environment of their homeland • 12000 members of the akwasasne community depend on fish, wildlife, farmland and plants • P.394-395 • By Th. Building of the st Lawrence seaway, the akwsasne community was engulfed in industrial pollution • Carless disposal practices, GM contaminated four industrial lagoons, two disposal areas and a landfill, which were not lined with a barrier that would keep them from leaking, ultimately the drainage from them polluted the adjacent wetlands and rivers and contaminated soil and sediment in Akwsasne (located immediately downstream from plant) • While debating how to resolve the contamination, for several decades the mohawks had been exposed to unknown levels of contaminates, a classic case of environmental injustice • P.396 • PCB have a wide range of possible effects on human health, including neurotoxicity, disturbing endocrine pathways, impairing immune function, and reducing physical growth and maturation (infants especially vulnerable) • Chemicals found in their fish and wildlife • Discovering their local fish, wildlife, and vegetation (their whole subsistence system) might be contaminated was devastated • P.397 • Diabetes and heart disease are on the increase • lowfat, high protein fish was replaced by less healthful foods from stores and fast food outlets Activities promoting outdoor exercise were lost, along with the social, cultural and religious • meaning of these activities ---akwesasne youth are overweight • Studied and researched the children • Investigators found there was an inverse relationship between growth and PCB levels that were statistically significant (higher PCB, lower BMI)[alter thyroid gland] • A more recent finding is that PCB mimcs estrogen and leads to earlier onset of menstruation in girls • P.398 Anthropological work in commented affected by pollution and understand environmental risks • • People often overestimate the risks of industrial toxins while underestimating other risks like indoor air pollution • Must work together to spread awareness of issues 3) Alabanza Akers, Mary Anne and Timothy Akers. 2005. “Urbanization, Land Use, and Heath in Baguio City, Philippines.” In Globalization, Health and the Environment: An Integrated Perspective. Greg Guest, ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.:181-199. • P.181 • As globalization intensifies, cites are increasingly becoming the focal point for the economic activity, global exchange and disease vectors Fastest urbanization in developing countries • • Significant migration is evident in metropolitan areas • P.182 • Families abandon their farming activities when they find it difficult to compete with more productive industrial farming units • Natural disasters as well as the common perception that city jobs are abundant, pull migrants to urban centres • The promise of better health care, education and transportation services draw people to cities with hopes of improving their lives • They are then confront with challenges of housing shortages or slum conditions,unstable minim wage jobs and inequitable distribution of food, unhealthy commuting situations, deteriorated water quality and potential for violence and urban disease • Although the detrimental effects of intense urbanization are extant in developed countries, they are far more problematic in the developing world • Environmental degradation and diminishing air, water and land quality are all bigger problems in developing countries than in developed nations • Demands placed on natural resources far exceed the capacity that ecosystems can bear (especially in areas wit high concentrations of people, machines and structures) • Changes in land uses to accommodate growing urban activities snowball to environmental problems • When environment is threatened so is public health • Mercurial urban growth becomes a determining factor in predicting negative health conditions and outcomes • Waterborne diseases appear when urban residents rely on unsanitary sources of water • More people = more demand for water • P.183 • Malnutrition is another health problem among impoverished urban populations • Cost of food in cities is higher than that in rural areas • Often male head of household is given priority in the feeding hierarchy bc labour intensive job required adequate food intake for energy • These health effects provide evidence to the negative impacts of unplanned and uncontrolled urbanization • The informal economy • The process or urbanization puts extreme demands on land, making it a prime commodity People who live in poverty have more difficulty in accessing decent urban space f housing and • livelihood activities • Poor urban residents are resourceful; they find ways to generate income for their basic survival---survivalists and their spontaneous participation in the informal economy • P.184 • Poor urban dwellers creatively establish these unregulated business niches in the shadow landscapes of economies fraught with the inequitable distribution of resources, space and risk realities • Shadow economy - lack formalistic or regulatory surtaxes expected of traditional businesses • Microenterprises - smallness of their scale of operations (2-3 workers, capital needs rage from 500-10000 and are owned and operated by low to moderate income individuals • The shadow economy significantly contributes to the overall urban economic structure and helps gdp in developing countries • P.185 • Other concerns facing informal microentrepeneurs relate to substandard working conditions, lack of basic sanitation, safety, low skill levels, and lack of employment protection • Poor womens primary roles as family caretakers and household managers, plus the responsibility of augmenting family incomes through microenterprise activities, result in added pressure • Microentrepreneurs visibly locate themselves in spaces with high pedestrian traffic and sell a variety of products The relationship between informal ventures and registered businesses can be described as • both cooperative and tolerant • P.186 - the research setting: baguio city, philippines • Avg. 5 ppl per house hold • 90% literacy rate • Foreign debt, political instability and endemic fiscal ineffectiveness mark a stagnant economy Baguio initial growth is associated with international events in 90s (mining, health, • • Japan bombed it bc associated with americas then earthquake • Directly linked with the global economy & texas instrument operations • Many local business are engaged in the exportation of indigenous cultural products • P.187 • Overlapping functions of space is evident throughout the district • Baguio city’s CBD comprises six barangays (city districts) • Most street vendors are women about 43 yrs old and have limited education, and 4 children • Educated women have difficulty in finding formal employment in the city, so they create jobs for themselves in the informal sector • P.188-189 • 6 or more dependents in a household but relatives help out with chores so female household head can focus on microenterprise • P.190 • Rise in proportion of female headed households in urban centres when compared to those of rural places • Women are becoming more economically independent and have more confidence to venture out of dysfunctional marriages • Not migrants to baguio • Work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week which impacts their health as theyre exposed to climactic and environmental elements for long period of time • P.191 • Since vending is the main source of income for many, health dangers are overlooked • Vendors are satisfied because they know that opportunities to generate income through other means are extremely limited Good social relations with other vendors influence their perceptions of success • • Success is equated with overall contentment • More money doesnt mean more nutrition bc spent on non food or junk food bc more expensive • P.192 - the urban environment and health • When vendors are not healthy, they cannot generate the much needed income to sustain their families • Health is an essential element for living a decent life • Congestion, pollution, inclement weather, lack of sanitary facilities and increased contact with people (and the contagious diseases they carry) take their toll on many urban residents • Provides impact of microenviorments on health • The environmental health field centres on environments from a macroperspective, but we contribute to this body of knowledge examining the physical features of all spaces and their connection to health • Side walk widths--indicative of the quality of working space • P.193 • Extreme density can lead to the spread of airborne diseases such a bronchitis, influenza, and pneumonia, the three leading diseases in the Philippines • When sidewalk are congested, pedestrians often spill onto the streets, increasing the risk of vehicular accidents Exorbitant number of respiratory problems in the developing world is of critical concern (half of • worlds millions cases of respiratory illnesses are found in major cities in east asia) • The continued exposure to air contaminants such as toxic fumes from lead fuel vehicles, released during street vendors long work hours, can lead to debilitating health problems • High pollution leads to chronic bronchitis • Vendors located on tow highly sloping streets are more susceptible to health problems associated with poor air quality (two way traffic and uphill) • Important to public health is the effect of pollution on young children who stay with their working mothers • Amount of lead particulates absorbed by food products for sale, which are typically not covered or sealed poses a health hazard for consumers • Waterborne diseases are another health concern • Street vendors were located in flat eras that often did not have adequate drainage facilities • Water run off from upper sections brings bacteria from waster materials and street pollutants to these low lying areas • P.194 • Southeast asia more than 1 million ppl have died from diarrhea related illnesses cause by exposure to unsanitary water conditions • Dengue, a specific health threat, is caused by poor drainage Baguio exorbitant rainfall increases the likelihood of stagnant water, prime reading places for • dengue-carrying mosquitoes • Health officials repeatedly warned the public to be cautious about eating food sold in the streets because improper handling of food can be the impetus of widespread illnesses and gastrointestinal illness • The lack of water facilities, the presence of flies, and the unsanitary disposal of solid wastes aggravate this health problem • Weather-concrete sidewalks and walls do not protect them from extreme temperatures during the cold months of December to feb and bc their business are not enclosed they are exposed to the monsoon rains • Working environments threaten their immune systems and ultimately lead to illnesses • Older women experienced more illness than younger ones • Younger females had to deal with small children who are ill • Long working hours and exposure to environmental health risks factors threaten their health and subsequently their ability ability to care for their families • Children left alone to fend for themselves eat less nutritious food or engage in unsafe playing behaviour • But children that attend work with their mother have higher incidence of gastrointestinal illness and 5x more likely to suffer accidents than when staying at home • Children of baguio street vendors face health risks whether they go with their mothers to work or stay at home without adequate supervision • P.195 - conclusion • Street vendors in baguio philippines displays the relationship among urbanization, the resulting physical environment, and human health • People choose location based on customer volume, familiarity of place, not being bohered by police, less competition, shelter • The informal sector will always play a role in developing economies; therefore, innovative measures are essential in addressing this issue • A balance between supporting informal activities and protecting the mainstream economy can be achieved though creative policies • Prevention oriented health education programs are important • Education and awareness programs will change this attitude toward health • No matter how small their operations, theyre affected by changes in the global exchange of goods • A shift from agriculturally based economies to manufacturing changes the nature of the economic structure and subsequently, the relationships among people, the means of production, and the land • Once people were self sufficient, now dependent on industrial low paying jobs • Members of the household are forced to migrate to urban centres and engage in informal business activities that have numerous health risks • Governments make economic decisions that have global implications, marginalized populations are most affected • Policymakers need to understand the complex web of connections among people an social structures around the world and consider the local ramifications of their decisions Film: The Beloved Community Tutorial questions: Who should be responsible for monitoring the environmental practices of industries? -governments -the workers -union Who should bear the burden of proof when it comes to environmental health issues- communities or industries? -industries How has biological anthropologist Lawrence Schell’s work contributed to our understanding of the community-wide effects of chemicals on members of the Mohawk Nation, Akwesasne? -widened our perspective of chemical effects on aboriginal nations who depend on the land to live on Name three negative consequences of development that were experienced by the indigenous peoples of the Mackenzie Delta, as described in the textbook reading. -drop out rates in school -alcoholism because of stress
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