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To rise to the increasingly urgent challenge of understanding the relationship between human beings and the environment, scholars need to step back and re-evaluate their basic premises about how current explanations should shape the form and content of their research. Against the Grain addresses a variety of topics in the field of human ecology, including ecological anthropology, evolutionary psychology, environmental history, and geography, and challenges scholars to re-think the adequacy of their methods and assumptions. Andrew P. Vayda concludes the volume with a critical commentary on these issues and, more widely, on the subject of explanation. The result is an extremely useful and provocative precis for thinking about, re-evaluating, and rectifying scholarly research.
Bradley B. Walters is associate professor of geography & environment at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Bonnie J. McCay is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in the Department of Human Ecology. Paige West is assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College, New York. Susan Lees is professor emerita of anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I. Introductory Essays Chapter 3 Chapter 1. An Intellectual History of Ecological Anthropology Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Maori Warfare: Prefiguring Contemporary Directions in Ecological Science Part 5 Part II. Events Causes and Explanations Chapter 6 Chapter 3. Explaining Causes in Evolving Contexts: From Nepali Hill Farmers to Business Managers in Thailand Chapter 7 Chapter 4. Events, Politics, and Environmental Change Chapter 8 Chapter 5. Orthodoxy and Revision in West African Guinea Savanna Ecology Chapter 9 Chapter 6. Looking for Cause with All the Small Changes: Using Event Ecology to Find Human Causes of Biological Invasions Chapter 10 Chapter 7. Shell Games on the Water Bottoms of Louisiana: Investigative Journalism and Anthropological Inquiry Chapter 11 Chapter 8. Process in an Eventful Environment Chapter 12 Chapter 9. A New Guinea Culture-Bound Syndrome Revisited: Humility and Monological Authority in Anthropology Chapter 13 Chapter 10. Deductive-nomological vs. Causal-mechanistic Explanation: Relative Strengths and Weaknesses in Anthropological Explanation Chapter 14 Chapter 11. Vayda Blues: Explanation in Darwinian Ecological Anthropology Part 15 Part III. Research on Environment and Development Chapter 16 Chapter 12. What Kind of Anthropology for Successful Conservation Management and Development? Chapter 17 Chapter 13. Environmental Conservation and Social Life in Papua New Guinea Chapter 18 Chapter 14. The Concept of Human Agency in Contemporary Conservation and Development Discourse Chapter 19 Chapter 15. Using Progressive Contextualization to Understand a Rural Development Success Story in Indonesian Borneo Chapter 20 Chapter 16. From Understanding to Action: Building on Anthropological Approaches to Influence Policymaking Chapter 21 Chapter 17. The Relevant Context: Environmental Consequences of Images of the Future Chapter 22 Chapter 18. Indigenous Knowledge and In Situ Crop Germplasm Conservation Part 23 Part IV. Concluding Essay Chapter 24 Chapter 19. Causal Explanation as a Research Goal: A Pragmatic View
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