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Contact with Nature as Essential to the Human Experience

Reflections on Pandemic Confinement

Alan E. Kazdin and Pablo Vidal-González

nature from three perspectives: historical, sociocultural, and empirical. These perspectives convey the many ways in which contact with nature is essential to human life, the multiple ways in which this is expressed, and the broad range of benefits that

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Raymond Suttner

Non-racialism is examined in relation to the concepts of race, generic humanism and universalism in order to establish conditions under which non-racialism can be implemented as an emancipatory concept. Denial of the salience or even the existence of the concept 'race' and also tendencies to organise on the basis of race essentialism are examined. It is accepted that race does not exist at an ontological level, in that it is not required for the constitution of the human subject. But race does exist historically and socially. To ignore its existence in addressing the question of non-racialism would be to deny the validity of the experience of racial inequality. At the same time, organisation on the basis of race, while sometimes motivated by strategic considerations, carries the danger of slippage and a permanent racialised identity. The post-1994 period is seen as opening the road to universalism and thus removing the basis for strategic essentialism.

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Shawn Gorman

One of the basic intuitions guiding Sartre's phenomenological works is that phenomena cannot be reduced to essences that are separate from appearances. Such a separation leads to a type of semiotic profusion that Sartre criticizes in L'Etre et le néant by evoking the example of Proust. Sartre's ontology must avoid this infinite proliferation of meaning without falling into a type of essentialism where things are merely what they appear to be. Sartre's references to Proust demonstrate not only the pitfalls of essentialism and unlimited semiosis, but also why Sartre found it necessary to invent existential psychoanalysis as a response to the twin phenomenological challenge of situating intentional meaning neither on the side of the object, nor of the subject, but somewhere in between. The unsatisfactory nature of Sartre's solution is palpable in the contradictions we discover in his observations on Proust.

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Interrogating the Essential

Moral Baselines on Adult-Child Sex

Richard Yuill

In this paper I emphasize the multiple ways dominant moral and essentialist understandings feed into the wider regulatory norms and conventional thinking governing adult‐child sexual relations. Clearly, researchers are not immune from the ascendant material and symbolic hegemony enjoyed by child sexual abuse (CSA) paradigms. Indeed the experience of the seven critical writers and researchers cited in the paper, coupled with the author’s own experiences carrying out PhD research in this area, clearly reinforce this point. I contend that sociological and Foucauldian insights on age and sexual categorization can offer a helpful tool‐kit for unpacking the contested claims from CSA survivors, child liberationists, and the specific case of one respondent who resists victimological labelling of his sexual experiences with adults.

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Putting the Folk in Their Place

Tradition, Ecology and the Public Role of Ethnology

Ullrich Kockel

The folk, who have been exorcised from contemporary academic concern, are now replaced with the populace. Simultaneously, places as ecological loci of meaning and social relations have been discarded in favour of globalised spaces. Arguably, the contemporary obsession with proving the inauthenticity of tradition is itself an essentialising discourse. This obsession has helped destroy places and their ecological relationships. European ethnology originated in the Enlightenment pursuit of good governance and social improvement, which rendered it an instrument of political control - putting the folk in their place. By critically reconstructing the public role of ethnology, we can redirect the ethnological searchlight. Should not the responsible ethnologist, rather than colluding in evictions of the folk from their place, cultivate a respectfully critical understanding of social, economic, political and ecological contexts, working with the folk reflexively, to help reclaim their place.

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Cosmogony Today

Counter-Cosmogony, Perspectivism, and the Return of Anti-biblical Polemic

Michael W. Scott

In this article I review critical thought about cosmogony in the social sciences and explore the current status of this concept. The latter agenda entails three components. First, I argue that, even where cosmogony is not mentioned, contemporary anthropological projects that reject the essentialist ontology they ascribe to Western modernity in favor of analytical versions of relational non-dualism thereby posit a 'counter-cosmogony' of eternal relational becoming. Second, I show how Viveiros de Castro has made Amazonian cosmogonic myth—understood as counter-cosmogony—iconic of the relational non-dualist ontology he terms 'perspectival multinaturalism'. Observing that this counter-cosmogony now stands in opposition to biblical cosmogony, I conclude by considering the consequences for the study of cosmogony when it becomes a register of what it is about—when it becomes, that is, a form of polemical debate about competing models of cosmogony and the practical implications that they are perceived to entail.

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Yassaba’ or the Fear of Being Abandoned

Health Promotion Messages and Local Meanings in Guinea

Maria Cristina Manca

. I worked with a health promotion team consisting of Guinean nationals, whose dual roles as local experts and co-workers with whom I could share my questions and concerns were essential to all our activities. Our approach changed from day to day and

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Transition as Cultural Revitalization

Exploring Social Motives for Environmental Movement Participation

Anna J. Willow

, generalized notions of an earth-altering humanity obscure essential inquiries into racial, gender, regional, and other inequities that determine who decides the Earth's fate and how such decisions are made ( Eckersley 2017 ; Machin 2019 ). As Eva Lövbrand

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A Purging Presence

The Dog in Zoroastrian Tradition

Mahnaz Moazami

candidate, the candidate has to look at or touch a dog, held by a metal chain, and move to the second pit, where the whole process starts again. In this rite the presence of the dog is essential for the expulsion of impurity. After the candidate has

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Borders and Interruptions

Museums in the Age of Global Mobility, Mexico City, 7–9 June 2017

Gwyneira Isaac, Diana E. Marsh, Laura Osorio Sunnucks, and Anthony Shelton

museological perspectives between different linguistic, regional, and national communities. At the same time, the museum decolonization movement, the move from monocultural to pluricultural societies, the political resurgence of cultural essentialism