Nostalgia, the Fleeting, and the Rare in Chilean Relationships to Nature and Nonhuman Species

Nostalgia, the Fleeting, and the Rare in Chilean Relationships to Nature and Nonhuman Species Semi-structured interviews and participant observation were used to understand how urban Chileans form relationships with nature and nonhuman species in central Chile. Most informants expressed dislike of the typical mediterranean-habitat landscape, characterizing it as dry, poor, and empty. Yet many people expressed nostalgic attachment to specific places, species, and activities that they had experienced, often as children. Most of the reminisced-about interactions were fleeting or had been lost over time. In the dominant discourse, nature in the mediterranean zone of Chile is closely associated with poverty, and it is considered to lack beauty, biodiversity, culture, and history. Appeals to personal nostalgia may break through this discourse to form private assemblages of value. Chileans also attributed social value to interactions with species who are rare or who are found “exclusively” in Chile. Appeals to nostalgia, rarity, and exclusivity help to draw these private discourses into the public realm. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

Nostalgia, the Fleeting, and the Rare in Chilean Relationships to Nature and Nonhuman Species

Society & Animals, Volume 22 (6): 560 – Nov 20, 2014

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
DOI
10.1163/15685306-12341348
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Semi-structured interviews and participant observation were used to understand how urban Chileans form relationships with nature and nonhuman species in central Chile. Most informants expressed dislike of the typical mediterranean-habitat landscape, characterizing it as dry, poor, and empty. Yet many people expressed nostalgic attachment to specific places, species, and activities that they had experienced, often as children. Most of the reminisced-about interactions were fleeting or had been lost over time. In the dominant discourse, nature in the mediterranean zone of Chile is closely associated with poverty, and it is considered to lack beauty, biodiversity, culture, and history. Appeals to personal nostalgia may break through this discourse to form private assemblages of value. Chileans also attributed social value to interactions with species who are rare or who are found “exclusively” in Chile. Appeals to nostalgia, rarity, and exclusivity help to draw these private discourses into the public realm.

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Nov 20, 2014

Keywords: Chile; conservation; mediterranean; nature; nostalgia; rural; urban

References

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