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How is nature social - Essay Example

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The unprecedented geomorphological changes registered in the society, coupled with the sheer scale of alterations engendered by human beings, together with the qualitatively diverse modes of interventions have presented a fundamental shift of the conventional boundaries between nature and culture. …
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Download file to see previous pages Such transformations have not only touched on issues concerning natural scientists alone, but also the social scientists, the general public, and environmental groups. Environmental groups, with the aid of the media, guaranteed that, by the 1980s, concepts such as “ozone holes” and the “greenhouse effect” would be part of everyday vocabulary. An intricate juxtaposition of scientific developments, technological advances and ideological changes, coupled with consequences of the economic growth, has changed the way in which individuals conceive social representations of nature (Leslie and Evernden 1992, p.4). The paper explores the concept “social constriction of nature,” which has lately become a crude, but universal term describing various understandings of nature, knowledge, and the world. The essay explores the transformation of the physical environment into landscapes via cultural symbols and how the landscapes mirror individuals’ definitions of themselves. ...
owever, the philosophy, history, and sociology of science in the last two decades have largely asserted and confirmed the relativism of any distinct scientific claims regarding nature (Crist 2004, p.6). Scientific understandings of nature (inclusive of ecological understandings) have frequently been criticized for being mechanistic. In the last two decades, dissatisfaction with positivism has been rife with many theorists appreciating the roles of culture and language in individuals’ perception and understanding of the nature (Whatmore 2005, p.18). It is apparent that naive forms of realism in which nature is a directly perceptible entity that is concisely available to all irrespective of experience, cultural context, or motivation have not been successful. However, among some social scientists, the stress on cultural factors has replaced, rather than complemented biological explanation, which reflects the swing of the epistemological pendulum from biologism (1950s) to the preoccupation with culture (Bird 1987, p.255). Models of Nature Models of nature have typically referred to ecological, or more commonly, scientific understandings and have rarely included cultural factors. Recently, however, there has been a significant step towards defining the nature as a “social construction.” This translates to the notion that nature is an artefact of human, social and linguistic capability. Vivien Burr suggests “what individuals regard as truth is mainly a creation, not of objective observation of the world, but of the social processes and interactions” (1995, p.4). Equally, Peter Mason advances that “reality” is itself a product reflecting the activity of individuals’ imagination (1990, p.15). Language plays a critical role in this construction. According to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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