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Abstract

Despite years of international criticism and domestic policy making, China still plays a key role in illegal wildlife trafficking. Although the country has begun a transition from the mindless exploitation of nature towards an envisioned Ecological Civilisation, basic tenets in traditional medicine and popular cosmology continue to have highly adverse ecological consequences, both at home and abroad. Evaluating recent trends in international wildlife trade, Chinese policy making, and popular cosmology in China, this article aims to throw light on why wildlife substances continue to play such important role in the modern society, as well as to reflect on the preconditions for broader value change. The article goes on to argue that in order to get a better understanding on how nature and wildlife are viewed in a Chinese context, one is compelled to reflect not only on the impact of popular cosmology but also of authoritarian governance on conservation.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This article criticizes the so-called “stewardship paradigm,” which forms the theological basis for Catholic environmentalism, and argues that Thomas Berry’s cosmology provides a more theologically palatable platform for developing Catholic environmentalism. The substantive ethical shift emerging from Berry’s cosmology is the displacement of human well-being as the proximate norm for human behavior in favor of promoting biodiversity on planet Earth. In other words, biodiversity is the primary ethical good, and human well-being is secondary.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

Hunting trophies are shown to be undergoing socialization in photos. They are no longer personal souvenirs that serve a purely introspective function for the individual. Hunting photos are discussed, critiqued, and conspicuously displayed across online and print platforms. They are shared between hunters and lately also between hunters and the public. Criteria for good hunting photos reflect the changing modality and times in which photos are shared. The ways hunters stage, compose, and manipulate their hunting tableaux evolve to address external and internal pressures regarding their representation. This evolution is illustrated in qualitative interviews with hunting magazine editors and hunting photographers in Sweden, as well as review of 320 hunting magazine covers from 1960s to today. To this new class of hunter-artists, the presentation of the quarry as object or sovereign wildlife changes the hunting tableau and also responds to contested ideals of authenticity in nature.

In: Society & Animals
In: Historical Materialism

Abstract

This study tested a tool that could reveal children’s attitudes toward unpopular nonhuman animals through a content analysis of constructed clipart scenes arranged and described by elementary students. Pictures were analyzed for clipart choices, pictorial themes, themes of attitudes toward nonhuman animals, and other components of verbalized statements. Most (79%) students created scenes showing humans standing surrounded by animals. Boys made more statements concerning weapons, traps, or poison and about performing violent actions against animals than girls. Girls made more statements about liking animals than boys. Ecologistic, naturalistic, humanistic, moralistic, and aesthetic themes (displaying “feminine” attitudes) were more common in the female participants’ verbalizations, while scientistic, utilitarian, dominionistic, negativistic, and neutralistic themes (displaying “masculine” attitudes) occurred more frequently in the male explanations. Both genders exhibited similar levels of “feminine” attitudes, but boys exhibited more “masculine” attitudes than girls.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

This article investigates the construction of instruments and techniques employed in the management of Norwegian wolves since the early 1980s by construing the tools as technologies of government. The proliferation of such instruments and techniques, constructed to effect protection in practice, has transformed Norwegian wolves in significant ways. Unlike the historic population, which often went through large variations in numbers and was spread throughout large parts of the country, the current population of wolves is regulated to stay at a fixed number and within a relatively small wolf-zone. The current population is also highly amenable to detailed government; the number and location of the wolves, and even the genetic composition of the population over the longer term, can be reconfigured in detail. The article further argues that the general proliferation of governmental technologies in biodiversity conservation has meant similar transformations of a great number of endangered organisms.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

This study aims to increase understanding of whether spiritual dimensions of nature experiences are connected to sustainability by examining the relationship between yoga, sensory awareness, and pro-environmental behavior among comparative groups of yoga and non-yoga practitioners in South Florida. According to affective and perceptual theories of human environmental care, the heightened perception of and attention to one’s natural environment through enhanced sensory awareness that yoga practitioners describe experiencing should engender a closer inclination to nature and its protection, as measured by pro-environmental acts. South Florida yoga practitioners describe increased sensory awareness after yoga, yet they practiced common natural resources protective actions like recycling and reducing fossil fuel use no more frequently than their non-yoga counterparts. Practitioners’ other yoga-based and meditation-enhanced spiritual experiences like non-evaluation and non-attachment to physical and mental phenomena, as well as yoga’s inward self-focus on the physical body, may divert aspirants from proactive environmental behavior.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

Attitudes toward ecological consumption can trigger environmentally responsible intentions and behaviors. Understanding how ecological messages can influence attitudes is essential to mitigate climate change. This paper analyzes how religious affiliation (or lack of), can influence attitudes toward green advertising and explores the role of religious affiliation in the effectiveness of ecological messages. The findings indicate that religious affiliation has an influence on the degree of effectiveness of each message. So, green communications can be a useful tool to persuade atheists to develop more sustainable attitudes when they are exposed the benefits that can be achieved with green behavior. However, persuasive environmental messages, in general, do not generate major changes of attitude among Catholics. Businesses, NGO s, states, educators and society in general should acknowledge that environmental discourses fostering sustainable behavior. Furthermore, messages depicting the problems of environmental behavior have no repercussion on atheists and little on Catholics.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This editorial perspective attempts to explain the recent rise of Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency in Brazil and to characterise, at least in a preliminary fashion, the nature of the new regime one year into Bolsonaro’s rule. The core argument is that Bolsonaro represents a weak and internally-fragmented far-right regime, with unenthusiastic and declining popular support. Dominant sections of international and domestic capital operating in Brazil lent Bolsonaro electoral backing as a last way out of economic and political crisis, but so far, the new government has failed in sufficiently guaranteeing their most important interests and the markets are withdrawing approval. Themes covered include the political paralysis of the new regime, the social bases of Bolsonarismo, the nature of the current state–capital relation, and the role of evangelical Pentecostalism in far-right Brazilian politics today. A biographical portrait of Bolsonaro is provided, alongside a mapping of the dominant factions of the new administration. Finally, an assessment of the economic outlook in Brazil is developed, together with speculation as to the likely political consequences in the short- to medium-term future.

In: Historical Materialism