Abstract A theoretical framework is provided to understand a cultural group's definition of and relationship with nature and the environment. The framework draws on a social constructionist perspective that includes aspects of phenomenology and symbolic interactionism to define “landscape” as the symbolic environment created by a human act of conferring meaning on nature and the environment. This landscape reflects the selfdefinitions of the people within a particular cultural context. Attention is directed to transformation of the physical environment into landscapes that reflect people's definitions of themselves and on how these landscapes are reconstructed in response to people's changing definitions of themselves. Case studies from sociology and anthropology illustrate the social construction of nature and the environment. A discussion of the applied implications of the theoretical framework in social impact assessment and the global implications in the shifting power struggle over competing landscapes concludes the paper.
Rural Sociology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1994
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