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|Document Type: ||Thesis or dissertation|
|Title: ||Changing identities, changing landscapes: The long term dynamics of human - land relations in the ASPRE, Roussillon|
|Authors: ||O'Rourke, Eileen|
|Supervisors: ||McGlade, James|
|Issue Date: ||Sep-1995|
|Abstract: ||This research seeks to explore the complexity of human
land relations in the Aspre,
with respect to land degradation. It is argued that in human modified environments,
such as this Mediterranean
Pyrenean borderland, nature and culture cannot be
meaningfully studied apart. Consequently issues of land degradation must be situated
within the broader context of socio-natural interaction. Such a study cannot be
approached solely from a natural or social science perspective; what is required, and
what has been developed in this research, is a transdisciplinary methodology whereby
natural phenomena are situated within their historical and socio-cultural context.
Central to that context is the need to position the system within a long term
evolutionary dynamic, thus allowing us to view the system in process, rather than as
a synchronic present day snapshot. Within this 'longue duree' temporal and spatial
scales are seen to be critical.
It is argued that land degradation is at root a perceptual issue, thus perception and
cognition are seen as critically important in this study. The core field work acts to
expose both the physical and social identities of the Aspre, and the multiple perceptions
of land degradation held by its inhabitants. The research identifies a series of
'perceptual filters' through which the environment of the Aspre is experienced, and by
means of which meaning is negotiated. The recognition of the multiple environmental
perceptions and plural rationalities is of crucial importance when contemplating the
possible future pathways open to the Aspre, with respect to sustainable futures.
What emerges from this research is a redefinition of land degradation in the Aspre,
from that of a purely physical issue, to the realization that what we are dealing with are
changing social identities within changing landscapes.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (IERC)|
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