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Anthropology of nature: LOCAL KNOWLEDGE VS GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Crossing the divide between Local Knowledge and Global Knowledge Introduction The current ecological problems reflect a breakdown within the political arrangement. The core concerns at the centre of this debate are not essentially technical but social…
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Download file to see previous pages... This diversity has slowly been eroded at the height of globalization. Appreciating the worth of local knowledge systems can be regarded as central to recognition of the diversity among diverse traditions. This paper roots for practical integration of both local and global knowledge as a way of adaptation to the changing natural environments. This may be reinforced by the premise that the much discussed empirical dichotomy between local and global knowledge is itself superficial. Knowledge systems can be divided into empirical knowledge (observations), paradigmatic knowledge (explanations), and institutional (practices). Local knowledge is slowly emerging within discourse of sustainable biodiversity preservation dialogue. This has further been reinforced by the Conventional of Biological Diversity (1992), which demands that signatories “value, conserve, and sustain awareness, practices, and innovations of local communities that observe customary way of life pertinent to the preservation and effective utilization of biodiversity. The complexity associated with the problematic term local knowledge can be situated with the difficulty of defining the term. Traditional ecological knowledge possesses the benefit of triggering questions on the strength of local knowledge systems, while simultaneously raising questions on their connection to the ecological sciences (Strathern, 1995). Although, the term indigenous possess the strength of clearly spotlighting certain sections of the society, the term also triggers confusion on who is indigenous and who is not, especially in places such as Africa and Asia (Strathern, 1995). Historically, local knowledge systems have been considered within the overriding, global society as second-rate and marginalized, perceived as an undervalued kind of knowledge. The deprived standing of local knowledge can be regarded as the outcome of the expansion of leading kinds of knowledge associated with local people’s chronological practices (Agar, 2005). The marginalization of local knowledge can also be linked to the bureaucratic machinery established on the construction of hierarchies that benefit global knowledge systems as the only scientific system (Agar 2005, p.3). Research has detailed that local knowledge systems were perceived as second-rate, and deemed “methodically assumed and obliterated by cultures (Agar 2005, p.2). The framework of “knowledge hierarchies” local knowledge systems may be obscured or diminished by the overriding cultural systems. This perception also manifests in a number of developmental approaches in which local populations are “developed” by those leading the development efforts (Escobar 1998, par.2). Consequently, dependent relations can be founded and sustained in which local knowledge systems are assumed by the leading, well established discourses. Largely, knowledge systems can frequently be viewed as crowded out in a fog of competition and adversity, instead of seeking for amalgamation and shared independence. In its broadest sense, the term indigenous can be applied interchangeably with native, which pertains to the first known inhabitants, practices, or beliefs of a region. Presently, the term may be employed historically by indigenous people’s themselves so as to gather support for their struggle to gain recognition as distinct peoples bearing their own cultures and enjoying rights to self-determination (Nakashima and Roue 2002, p.314). Nevertheless, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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