Spring 2010

The Social Construction of Nature

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-40


Jan E. Dizard (Section 01)


This course rests on two premises.  The first is that the non-human world--"nature"--exerts a profound influence on the social arrangements of humans.  The second premise is that humans not only modify nature to suit their needs but also construct nature ideologically.  We will explore the ways in which nature has been manipulated, both physically and symbolically, and the consequences these manipulations have had both for nature and for humans.  We will pay particular attention to the shifts over the past century and a half in the ways Americans have regarded the natural world, tracing the emergence of the conservation movement of the late nineteenth century and how it slowly got transformed into the contemporary environmental movement.

Requisite: Anthropology/Sociology 10, Enivironmental Studies 12 or consent of the instructor. Not open to first year students. Limited to 30 students. Spring semester.  Professor Dizard.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to Anthro/Soc and ENST majors; then to seniors; and so on down the "pecking order."


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012