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The Social Construction of Nature

by Klaus Eder

Part of the Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society Series

The Social Construction of Nature Synopsis

In this unique and agenda-setting examination of the relation between nature and culture, Klaus Eder demonstrates our ideas of nature are culturally determined, and explains how the relation between modern, industrial societies and nature is increasingly violent and destructive. Through an analysis of symbolism, ritual and taboo, Eder questions the view of nature as an object. Showing how nature is socially constructed, he presents a critique of Marx and Durkheim while offering a radical reinterpretation of the relationship among society, culture and nature. Eder concludes with an examination of the symbolic order of society and of the role of religion in modern culture. Using a culturalist interpretation, he explains how environmentalism, and the social construction of nature, is a key index of social order and structure.

The Social Construction of Nature Press Reviews

`Klaus Eder affords us with a rare, genuinely social consructionist perspective on nature. He must be credited, and his book praised, on numerous grounds. First and foremost, he retrieves, develops and introduces to a German and Anglo-Saxon readership what is probably to this day the most comprehensive and thoroughly social constructionist framework to apprehend human/nature relationships. The author also provides a sound account of food taboos across different cultures, including our own, thereby acting as a precursor to what is known as `symmetrical anthropology' This book is an important contribution to the social sciences in general' - British Journal of Sociology `The Social Construction of Nature argues that modernity's characteristic pride in dominating nature has caused us to forget that we live in a culture which forces us into a self-destructive relationship with nature. The author shows how this is reflected in our eating practices: carnivorous culture is seen as an extension of domination going back to Greek roots, while the emerging vegetarian culture is based on the idea of harmony with nature. In this context the opposite of the natural foods movements is the industrial exploitation of nature. The final part claims that contemporary environmentalism is a turning point in the cultural evolution of modernity' - Scientific and Medical Network Journal

Book Information

ISBN: 9780803978485
Publication date: 28th August 1996
Author: Klaus Eder
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Social impact of environmental issues,

About Klaus Eder

Klaus Eder has written extensively on class, social movements and social structure. He is author of the New Politics of Class (SAGE 1993).

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