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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9920

Title: Political Ecology and the Demand for Organizational Ethnography
Authors: MacDonald, Iain. Kenneth
Keywords: Organizational Ethnography
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: Political Ecology has, over the past 15 years, done much to elucidate how relations of power are embedded not simply in the production of nature but also in the structuring f material ecological practice. While much of this research has been based on singular studies of communities, little of it has engaged seriously with questions of the scalar relations of power. In this paper, I argue that a focus on the scalar dimensions of power relations is integral to understanding the role of agency in the ideoloical production of nature and the material practices that derive from it. Central to understanding these relations is a process of longitudinal research that relies on multi‐scaled and sited ethnography. As communities and environments, localized in space, become increasingly subject to the institutional demands of so‐called global organizations that appeal to the authority of particular disciplinary perspectives (e.g., biological science, economics, etc.) in their production and circulation of knowledge, it becomes necessary to understand the ‘cultures’ of such institutions. This process, however, must start from a long‐term engagement with communities subject to such institutional processes and work outward to comprehend how the globalization o everyday life ‐ taken to mean the subjectivities and material effects produced through, willing or unwilling, participation in ever‐expanding socio‐spatial relations – in such places is tied to the political discursive resources housed in ‘global’ institutions. An understanding of this relation demands an ethnography of such global institutions, yet it is an ethnographic focus on such scalar relations that is absent from Political Ecology. In this paper, I use the example of the interventionist practices of ‘global’ conservation agencies in northern Pakistan to illustrate how an understanding of the processes involved in globalizing veryday life demands ethnographic research within ‘global’ institutions themselves.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9920
Appears in Collections:Geography

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