Discursive and Material Productions of Nature

Over the last forty years, issues of environmental conflict have become increasingly recognized by academics and society more broadly. From the inequitable distribution of green space in Los Angeles, California (Wolch et al., 2005), to the historical disenfranchisement of the Jamaican small farming class from the forest resources that are critical to their everyday livelihoods (Douglas, 2013), it has become apparent that the relationships between people, nature, and power manifest numerous contradictions. Neoliberal practices arguably have been tailored to appropriate nature as a medium for profit (Castree, 2003) and the production of social difference (Escobar, 2006) throughout the industrial era. The sites, politics, and practices of environmental conflict are considered to be fundamental issues of environmental justice, which is one of the most controversial lines of study in the social sciences (Byrne et al., 2002). As such, this reading list presents literature stemming from political ecology and environmental justice studies that critique environmental conflict through the lens of people’s material and discursive productions of nature; that is, the ways by which people form their nuanced understandings of nature and society. …

To read more on this topic and see the recommended reading list for this topic by Jason Douglas, click here.

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