G16
Towards an anthropology of sustainability?

Convenors:
Fiona Murphy (Queens University Belfast )
Pierre Mcdonagh
Stream:
General
Location:
University Place 6.213
Start time:
8 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel invites papers from academic and applied contexts, both ethnographic and theoretically driven, which consider the relationship between anthropology and the issue of sustainability.

Long abstract:

Sustainability is a concept with a diverse array of meanings, anchored most firmly within issues connected to the natural environment. Within its widespread application in the world of business, governmental policy and the development world: its underlying principles and definitions often prove nebulous and sometimes even conflicting; it is reduced to the social, ecological and economic as a triple bottom line in business circles. In the current climate of global crisis and indeed, recovery, the question of how sustainable lifestyles, communities, and businesses can be characterized is at the root of much debate. If as Charles Rednan (2011) has recently proclaimed that anthropology should be seen as key to the development of sustainable science, then how should anthropology respond to this provocation? This panel invites papers from academic and applied contexts, both ethnographic and theoretically driven, which consider the relationship between anthropology and the issue of sustainability. Given notions of materialism, belief, perception, and values are at the core of the sustainability vision, then anthropology as a discipline is particularly well placed to explore the challenges encountered by the sustainability movement. Further, applied anthropology should be central to the implementation of many of these ideas. This panel will contribute to the burgeoning body of work which considers the impact of anthropologies of sustainability on environmental injustices and the everyday of the contemporary world.