Anthropology and Climate Change: From Actions to Transformations

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9781629580005: Anthropology and Climate Change: From Actions to Transformations

The first edition of Anthropology and Climate Change (2009) pioneered the study of climate change through the lens of anthropology, covering the relation between human cultures and the environment from prehistoric times to the present. This second, heavily revised edition brings the material on this rapidly changing field completely up to date, with major scholars from around the world mapping out trajectories of research and issuing specific calls for action. The new edition

  • introduces new “foundational” chapters―laying out what anthropologists know about climate change today, new theoretical and practical perspectives, insights gleaned from sociology, and international efforts to study and curb climate change―making the volume a perfect introductory textbook;
  • presents a series of case studies―both new case studies and old ones updated and viewed with fresh eyes―with the specific purpose of assessing climate trends;
  • provides a close look at how climate change is affecting livelihoods, especially in the context of economic globalization and the migration of youth from rural to urban areas;
  • expands coverage to England, the Amazon, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, and Ethiopia;
  • re-examines the conclusions and recommendations of the first volume, refining our knowledge of what we do and do not know about climate change and what we can do to adapt.

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About the Author:

Susan A. Crate is an associate professor of anthropology in the Department of Environmental Science & Policy at George Mason University. An environmental and cognitive anthropologist, she has worked with indigenous communities in Siberia since 1988. Her recent research has focused on understanding local perceptions and adaptations of Viliui Sakha communities in the face of unprecedented climate change―a research agenda that has expanded to Canada, Peru, Wales, Kiribati, and the Chesapeake Bay. Crate is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and one monograph, Cows, Kin and Globalization: An Ethnography of Sustainability (AltaMira Press, 2006), and she is co-editor of the Anthropology and Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions (Left Coast Press, 2009). Crate also served on the American Anthropology Association’s Task Force on Climate Change.

Mark Nuttall is Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. He also holds a visiting position as Professor of Climate and Society at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland and the Greenland Climate Research Centre at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. He has carried out extensive research in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Finland and Scotland, and is co-PI of the EU-funded project ICE-ARC (Ice, Climate and Economics―the Arctic Region in Change). He is editor of the landmark three-volume Encyclopedia of the Arctic (Routledge, 2005) and author or editor of many other books.

Review:

"The chapters are written mostly by anthropologists for anthropologists, but physical scientists such as myself will find useful information and insights in several of the chapters. The primary audience for the book will be climate change researchers and students in upper- and graduate-level courses in anthropology and the environmental and social sciences. Each of the chapters stands alone, which is useful for class reading assignments... Crate and Nutall's well-referenced volume provides useful information and insight for researchers and students becoming interested in the field."

- Allan Ashworth, Journal of Anthropological Research, review of the first edition

"This effectively organized, crisply presented, and compellingly argued book is essential reading for everyone concerned about the impact of climate change on human communities around the world, and for readers of any background seeking to understand the unique and critical contributions of anthropology to these important questions. The list of contributors, with their highly varied interests and accomplishments, makes clear that anthropologists have been working on issues of environmental change and sustainability for decades, and that their contributions focus on precisely the kinds of questions that have been relatively neglected in the physical sciences of the environment. With its close attention to strategy and tactics,Anthropology and Climate Change will serve as a major resource for anthropologists looking for conceptual and practical tools by which they might refocus their work so as to contribute more effectively to these major debates of our day."

- Susan Greenhalgh, Population and Development Review, review of the first edition

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