F&ES 839b/ANTH 597 / 2019-2020
Social Science of Conservation and Development
Spring 2020: Tu, 9:00-11:50, Sage 32
This course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the social aspects involved in implementing conservation and sustainable development projects. Social science makes two contributions to the practice of conservation and development. First, it provides ways of thinking about, researching, and working with social groupings—including rural households and communities, but also development and conservation institutions, states, and NGOs. This aspect includes relations between groups at all these levels, and especially the role of politics and power in these relations. Second, social science tackles the analysis of the knowledge systems that implicitly shape conservation and development policy and impinge on practice. The emphasis throughout is on how these things shape the practice of sustainable development and conservation. Case studies used in the course have been balanced as much as possible between Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America; most are rural and Third World. The course includes readings from all noneconomic social sciences. The goal is to stimulate students to apply informed and critical thinking (which means not criticizing others, but questioning our own underlying assumptions) to whatever roles they may come to play in conservation and sustainable development, in order to move toward more environmentally and socially sustainable projects and policies. The course is also designed to help students shape future research by learning to ask questions that build on, but are unanswered by, the social science theory of conservation and development.
F&ES 839 is a prerequisite for:
F&ES 869: Disaster, Degradation, Dystopia: Social Science Approaches to Environmental Perturbation and Change
F&ES 965: Advanced Readings: Social Science of Development and Conservation