Against the Grain The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology and Ecological Anthropology

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-01-17
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press

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Against the Grain gathers scholars from across disciplines to critically explore the work of ecological anthropologist Andrew P. Vayda and the future of the field of human ecology. The subject matter spans topics such as warfare, indigenous knowledge, and research methodology, each examined in search of a productive and ethically responsible tradition of human ecological research.

Author Biography

Bradley B. Walters is associate professor of geography and environment at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick Bonnie J. McCay is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers in the Department of Human Ecology Paige West is assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College, New York Susan Lees is professor emerita of anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Introductory Essays
An Intellectual History of Ecological Anthropologyp. 11
Maori Warfare: Prefiguring Contemporary Directions in Ecological Sciencep. 27
Events, Causes, and Explanations
Explaining Causes in Evolving Contexts: From Nepali Hill Farmers to Business Managers in Thailandp. 43
Events, Politics, and Environmental Changep. 67
Orthodoxy and Revision in West African Guinea Savanna Ecologyp. 81
Looking for Cause with All the Small Changes: Using Event Ecology to Find Human Causes of Biological Invasionsp. 99
Shell Games on the Water Bottoms of Louisiana: Investigative Journalism and Anthropological Inquiryp. 117
Process in an Eventful Environmentp. 135
A New Guinea Culture-Bound Syndrome Revisited: Vayda, Humility, and Monological Authority in Anthropologyp. 145
Deductive-nomological vs. Causal-mechanical Explanation: Relative Strengths and Weaknesses in Anthropological Explanationp. 159
Vayda Blues: Explanation in Darwinian Ecological Anthropologyp. 175
Research on Environment and Development
What Kind of Anthropology for Successful Conservation Management and Development?p. 195
Environmental Conservation and Social Life in Papua New Guineap. 207
The Concept of Human Agency in Contemporary Conservation and Developmentp. 225
Using Progressive Contextualization to Understand a Rural Development Success Story in Indonesian Borneop. 255
From Understanding to Action: Building on Anthropological Approaches to Influence Policy Makingp. 273
The Relevant Context: Environmental Consequences of Images of the Futurep. 287
Indigenous Knowledge and In Situ Crop Germplasm Conservationp. 307
Concluding Essay
Causal Explanation as a Research Goal: A Pragmatic Viewp. 317
Indexp. 369
About the Contributorsp. 375
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