The Impact of Human Activities on the Physical and Social Environments: New Directions in Anthropological Ecology

The Impact of Human Activities on the Physical and Social Environments: New Directions in... A .:. 9517 symposium by : Edward Montgomery, John W. Bennett, and Thayer Scudder Foreword' The rapidly accumulating evidence of danger associated with the human use of the earth has caught most of the sciences unprepared to mount the intensive and necessarily collaborative attack on the problem. Vnderlying the lack of preparation is the anthropocentric viewpoint of our industrial civilization: that the earth exists for the satisfaction of human needs and wants. Anthropology is no stranger to this idea: for a century, anthropological theory has visualized technological development and the growth of civilization as a triumph of human endeavor; culture has been defined as man's chief mode of adaptation to the natural environment, but for "adaptation," one must often read "exploitation." Anthropology's insensitivity to the issue has special roots. The proclivity of anthropologists to study tribal and peasant communities has meant that the dra­ matic effects of industrial man's activities on Nature [for a summary, see Paul B. Sears' paper in the 1 956 Wenner-Gren symposium, Man's Role in Changing the Face ofthe Earth (167, 1 80)] have been of little concern to the discipline. However, even if these effects have been less immediate or dramatic, they are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Anthropology Annual Reviews

The Impact of Human Activities on the Physical and Social Environments: New Directions in Anthropological Ecology

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1973 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0084-6570
eISSN
1545-4290
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev.an.02.100173.000331
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A .:. 9517 symposium by : Edward Montgomery, John W. Bennett, and Thayer Scudder Foreword' The rapidly accumulating evidence of danger associated with the human use of the earth has caught most of the sciences unprepared to mount the intensive and necessarily collaborative attack on the problem. Vnderlying the lack of preparation is the anthropocentric viewpoint of our industrial civilization: that the earth exists for the satisfaction of human needs and wants. Anthropology is no stranger to this idea: for a century, anthropological theory has visualized technological development and the growth of civilization as a triumph of human endeavor; culture has been defined as man's chief mode of adaptation to the natural environment, but for "adaptation," one must often read "exploitation." Anthropology's insensitivity to the issue has special roots. The proclivity of anthropologists to study tribal and peasant communities has meant that the dra­ matic effects of industrial man's activities on Nature [for a summary, see Paul B. Sears' paper in the 1 956 Wenner-Gren symposium, Man's Role in Changing the Face ofthe Earth (167, 1 80)] have been of little concern to the discipline. However, even if these effects have been less immediate or dramatic, they are

Journal

Annual Review of AnthropologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Oct 1, 1973

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