Culture and the Environment in the Himalaya

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Arjun Guneratne
Routledge, Dec 24, 2009 - Political Science - 256 pages
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This book is concerned with human-environment relations in the Himalaya. It explores how different populations and communities in the region understand or conceive of the concept of environment, how their concepts vary across lines of gender, class, age, status, and what this implies for policy makers in the fields of environmental conservation and development. The chapters in this book analyse the symbolic schema that shape human-environment relations, whether that of scientists studying the Himalayan environment, public officials crafting policy about it, or people making a living from their engagement with it, and the way that natural phenomena themselves shape human perception of the world.

A new approach to the study of the environment in South Asia, this book introduces the new thinking in environmental anthropology and geography into the study of the Himalaya and uses Himalayan ethnography to interrogate and critique contemporary theorizing about the environment.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Interrogating narratives of environmental change in the Himalaya
17
Sacred and rational nature in Nepals Ayurvedic medicine
40
Exploring the social and cultural context
61
Beliefs meanings and nature in Northwestern Nepal
79
Symbolizing forests in Nepal
100
Limbu perception of their physical world
114
Examples from the Kumaun Himalaya
132
The Vishva Hindu Parishad and Tehri Dam
151
Remembering the Bagmati Civilization
166
Linking subjectivities of dwelling and power
186
Bibliography
204
Index
231
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About the author (2009)

Arjun Guneratne is Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College, USA, and the co-editor of Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia, and author of Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal. He is the editor of Himalaya, the journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies and former chair of the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.

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