Rejoinder: Discussing Dichotomies with Colleagues

Helen Kopnina
  • Anthropological Forum, October 2016, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/00664677.2016.1246091

Discussing dichotomies between nature and culture with colleagues

What is it about?

This article is about about the dichotomy between nature and culture or humans - a response to anthropologists who wrote comments on my original article in the same issue of this journal: Kopnina, H. (2016) ‘Nobody Likes Dichotomies (but sometimes you need them)’. Anthropological Forum. Special Forum: Environmental and Social Justice? The Ethics of the Anthropological Gaze. (26)4:415-429.

Why is it important?

The general response to comments about the dichotomy between nature and culture or humans and environment is this: Thus, the issue at stake is not so much whether humans are part of nature or not – of course they are in one way or another – but whether their influence endangers all other elements of nature. After all, Ebola virus is part of nature as well, yet it is questionable whether the spread of its population and influence should be welcomed by other species. The fact that, when we speak of justice for all, we do not speak of all communities of life on this planet, seems lost here. Just as we have become attentive to the ways that conservation can disadvantage local communities, I hope that we can also avoid discriminating against all other species, in practice and in our academic writing.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina