Explicating Ecoculture

Tracing a Transdisciplinary Focal Concept

in Nature and Culture
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Utah melissa.m.parks@utah.edu
Restricted access

Abstract

Ecoculture is an emerging focal concept reflecting the inextricability of nature and culture. It is applicable to and employed in many disciplines, yet it is rarely defined, cited, or interrogated, causing potential inconsistencies in scholarly operationalization. In the present analysis, I use Steven H. Chaffee's method of explication to develop an analytical review of ecoculture. I explore the primitive terms—ecology and culture—before assessing the scholarly use of the derived, compound term. I trace ecoculture across multiple disciplines, synthesizing operationalizations into one transdisciplinary theoretical framework. I find that ecoculture connotes interconnectedness and place relations, and has been critically operationalized in ways that problematize dominant human-centered ideologies, making it a productive scholarly frame that emphasizes the relationships between humans, their cultures, and their ecologies.

Contributor Notes

Melissa Michelle Parks is a Tanner Humanities Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. She is also a Field Education Facilitator at the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities Education. Her research explores themes of nature-culture relations within environmental, intercultural, and science communication. She uses an ecological perspective for communication studies, seeking to illuminate transdisciplinary interconnections. ORCID 0000-0002-7405-9422. Email: melissa.m.parks@utah.edu

  • Abel, Chris. 1993. “Eco-Culture, Development, and Architecture.” Knowledge and Policy 6 (3–4): 1028.

  • Abram, David. 1997. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World. New York: Vintage.

  • Avery, Alan. 1996. “Eco-wellness Nursing: Getting Serious about Innovation and Change.” Nursing Inquiry 3 (2): 6773.

  • Banks, William E., FransEsco d'Errico, Harold L. Dibble, Leonard Krishtalka, Dixie West, Deborah I. Olszewski, A. Townsend Peterson, and M. Crucifix. 2006. “Eco-Cultural Niche Modeling: New Tools for Reconstructing the Geography and Ecology of Past Human Populations.” PaleoAnthropology 4: 6883.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berry, John W. 1971. “Ecological and Cultural Factors in Spatial Perceptual Development.” Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement 3 (4): 324.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berry, John W. 2001. “Contextual Studies of Cognitive Adaptation.” In Intelligence and Personality: Bridging the Gap in Theory and Measurement, ed. Janet M. Collis and Samuel J. Messick, 31933. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Böhm, Steffen, Zareen Pervez Bharucha, and Jules Pretty, eds. 2014. Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie. 1979. The Ecology of Human Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie, and Pamela A. Morris. 1998. “The Ecology of Developmental Processes.” In Handbook of Child Psychology: Theoretical Models of Human Development, 5th ed., ed. William Damon and Richard M. Lerner, 9931028. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burger, Joanna, Michael Gochfeld, Karen Pletnikoff, Ronald Snigaroff, Daniel Snigaroff, and Tim Stamm. 2008. “Ecocultural Attributes: Evaluating Ecological Degradation in Terms of Ecological Goods and Services versus Subsistence and Tribal Values.” Risk Analysis 28 (5): 12611272. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2008.01093.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Casey, Edward S. 1996. “How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time: Phenomenological Prolegomena.” In Senses of Place, ed. Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso, 1352. Santa Fe, HM: School of American Research Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Castro-Sotomayer, José, Jeffrey Hoffmann, Melissa M. Parks, Maggie Seibert, Mariko Thomas, and Tema Milstein. 2018. “Embodying Education: Performing Environmental Meanings, Knowledges, and Transformations.” Journal of Sustainability Education, 27 February. http://www.susted.com/wordpress/content/embodying-education-performing-environmental-meanings-knowledges-and-transformations_2018_02.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carbaugh, Donal. 1996. “Naturalizing Communication and Culture.” In The Symbolic Earth: Discourse and Our Creation of the Environment, ed. James G. Cantrill and Christine L. Oravec, 3857. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chaffee, Steven H. 1991. Communication Concepts 1: Explication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  • Chew, Sing C., and Matthias Gross. 2006. “Inaugural Introduction.” Nature + Culture 1 (1): 34. https://doi.org/10.3167/155860706780272024.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Collier, Mary Jane. 2002. Transforming Communication about Culture: Critical New Directions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Cox, Robert. 2007. “Nature's ‘Crisis Disciplines’: Does Environmental Communication Have an Ethical Duty?Environmental Communication 1 (1): 520. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524030701333948.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cronon, William. 1996. “The Trouble with Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.” Environmental History 1 (1): 728.

  • Dahl, Richard. 2010. “Green Washing: Do You Know What You're Buying?Environmental Health Perspectives 118 (6): A246A252.

  • Dickinson, Elizabeth. 2016. “Ecocultural Conversations: Bridging the Human-Nature Divide through Connective Communication Practices.” Southern Communication Journal 81 (1): 3248. https://doi.org/10.1080/1041794X.2015.1065289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Egerton, Frank N. 2013. “History of Ecological Sciences, Part 47: Ernst Haeckel's Ecology.” Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 94 (3): 22244. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9623-94.3.222.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Esteban-Guitart, Moisès, Jörn Borke, and Pilar Monreal-Bosch. 2015. “Ecocultural Effects on Self-concept: A Study with Young Indigenous People from Different Sociodemographic Contexts.” International Journal of Psychology 50 (4): 31924.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foucault, Michel. 2005. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. London: Routledge.

  • Georgas, James, and John W. Berry. 1995. “An Ecocultural Taxonomy for Cross-Cultural Psychology.” Cross-Cultural Research 29 (2): 12157.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giblett, Rod. 2012. “Nature Is Ordinary Too: Raymond Williams as the Founder of Ecocultural Studies.” Cultural Studies 26 (6): 92233.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gillick, Muriel R. 2009. “Medicine as Ecoculture.” Annals of Internal Medicine 151 (8): 57780.

  • Gillick, Muriel R. 2013. “The Medical Ecoculture at Work: The Case of the Metal-on-Metal Hip.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 56 (4): 584601. https://doi.org/10.1353/pbm.2013.0037.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Godet, Michel. 2000. “From Agriculture to Ecoculture.” Foresight 2 (3): 25356.

  • Golley, Frank Benjamin. 1996. A History of the Ecosystem Concept in Ecology: More than the Sum of the Parts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Groffman, Peter M., Cathlyn Stylinski, Matthew C. Nisbet, Carlos M. Duarte, Rebecca Jordan, Amy Burgin, M. Andrea Previtali, and James Coloso. 2010. “Restarting the Conversation: Challenges at the Interface between Ecology and Society.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8 (6): 28491.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haeckel, Ernst. 1866. Generelle Morphologie Der Organismen. Allgemeine Grundzüge Der Organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, Mechanisch Begründet Durch Die von C. Darwin Reformirte Descendenz-Theorie. Berlin: Verlag von Georg Reimer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haraway, Donna. 2008. When Species Meet. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Harris, Stuart G., and Barbara L. Harper. 2000. “Using eco-cultural dependency webs in risk assessment and characterization of risks to tribal health and cultures.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2: 91-100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hertig, Willis H. Jr. 1976. “A New Focus in Biology Education.” American Biology Teacher 38 (9): 54344.

  • Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. 1972. Dialectic of Enlightenment. New York: Seabury Press.

  • Jegede, Olugbemiro J. 1995. “Collateral Learning and the Eco-Cultural Paradigm in Science and Mathematics Education in Africa.” Studies in Science Education 25 (1): 97137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jegede, Olugbemiro J., and Glen S. Aikenhead. 1999. “Transcending Cultural Borders: Implications for Science Teaching.” Research in Science and Technological Education 17 (1): 4566.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leavis, Frank R., and Denys Thompson. 1950. Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness. London: Chatto & Windus.

  • Lovelock, James. 2000. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. OUP Oxford.

  • Massey, Doreen. 2005. For Space. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • McGreavy, Bridie, Justine Wells, George F. McHendry Jr, and Samantha Senda-Cook, eds. 2018. Tracing Rhetoric and Material Life: Ecological Approaches. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillian.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merchant, Carolyn. 1980. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution.

  • Milstein, Tema. 2009. “Environmental Communication.” In Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, ed. S. W. Littlejohn and K. A. Foss, 2: 34448. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milstein, Tema, Maryam Alhinai, José Castro, Stephen Griego, Jeffrey Hoffmann, Melissa M. Parks, Maggie Seibert, and Mariko Thomas. 2017. “Breathing Life into Learning: Ecocultural Pedagogy and the Inside-Out Classroom.” In Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice, ed. Tema Milstein, Mairi Pileggi, and Eric L. Morgan, 4561. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milstein, Tema, Claudia Anguiano, Jennifer Sandoval, Yea-Wen Chen, and Elizabeth Dickinson. 2011. “Communicating a ‘New’ Environmental Vernacular: A Sense of Relations-in-Place.” Communication Monographs 78 (4): 486510. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2011.618139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moli, G. Poyya. 2003. “Promotion of Peace and Sustainability by Community Based Heritage Eco-Cultural Tourism in India.” International Journal of Humanities and Peace 19 (1): 4046.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moli, G. 2011. “Community Based Eco Cultural Heritage Tourism for Sustainable Development in the Asian Region: A Conceptual Framework.” International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development 2 (2): 6680.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Odum, Eugene Pleasants. 1963. Ecology, the Link Between the Natural and Social Sciences. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

  • Odum, Eugene Pleasants, and Gary W. Barrett. 1971. Fundamentals of Ecology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

  • Owens, Kay. 2015. Visuospatial Reasoning: An Ecocultural Perspective for Space, Geometry and Measurement Education. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parker, Walter C., and Janet E. McDaniel. 1992. “Bricolage: Teachers Do It Daily.” In Teacher Personal Theorizing: Connecting Curriculum Practice, Theory, and Research, ed. E. Wayne Ross, Jeffrey W. Cornett, and Gail McCutcheon, 97114. New York: State University of New York Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pilgrim, Sarah, and Jules N. Pretty, eds. 2010. Nature and Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connections. London: Earthscan.

  • Plumwood, Val. 2002. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. New York: Routledge.

  • Pretty, Jules. 2011. “Interdisciplinary Progress in Approaches to Address Social-Ecological and Ecocultural Systems.” Environmental Conservation 38 (2): 127139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rapport, David J. 2011. “Eco-Cultural Health, Global Health, and Sustainability.” Ecological Research 26 (6): 10391049. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11284-010-0703-5.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rapport, David J., and Luisa Maffi. 2010. “The Dual Erosion of Biological and Cultural Diversity: Implications for the Health of Ecocultural Systems.” In Nature and Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connection, edited by Sarah Pilgrim and Jules L. Pretty. London: Routledge. 2010: 103119.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, John C. 2011. “Cultural Botany: Toward a Model of Transdisciplinary, Embodied, and Poetic Research into Plants.” Nature + Culture 6 (2): 123148. https://doi.org/10.3167/nc.2011.060202.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shome, Raka, and Radha S. Hegde. 2002. “Culture, Communication, and the Challenge of Globalization.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 19 (2): 172189. https://doi.org/10.1080/07393180216560.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slack, Jennifer Daryl, and Laurie Anne Whitt. “Ethics and Cultural Studies.” In Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula Treichler. New York: Routledge. 1992: 571609.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tansley, Arthur G. 1935. “The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts and Terms.” Ecology 16 (3): 284307.

  • Wallace, Gillian, and Andrew Russell. 2004. “Eco-cultural Tourism as a Means for the Sustainable Development of Culturally Marginal and Environmentally Sensitive Regions.” Tourist Studies 4 (3): 235254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Warren, Karen. 1997. Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.

  • Williams, Raymond. 1958. Culture and Society, 1780–1950. London: Chatto & Windus.

  • Ziser, Michael, and Julia Sze. 2007. “Climate Change, Environmental Aesthetics, and Global Environmental Justice Cultural Studies.” Discourse 29 (2): 384410.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 89 89 27
Full Text Views 22 22 2
PDF Downloads 29 29 1