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Publication Information

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Title: Public understandings of nature: a case study of local knowledge about "natural" forest conditions

Author: Hull, R. Bruce; Robertson, David P.; Kendra, Angelina;

Date: 2001

Source: Society and Natural Resources 14:325-340

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: This study is intended to serve as an explicit and specific example of the social construction of nature. It is motivated by the need to develop a more sophisticated language for a critical public dialogue about society's relationship with nature. We conducted a case study of environmental discourse in one local population in hopes of better understanding how a place-based community of environmental stakeholders relates to its local natural environment. We did this by analyzing discussions with local residents about the values and physical indicators they associated with the wild, authentic, healthy, and natural qualities of the forest. Findings from this type of study (such as our finding of "cultured naturalness") can enable a more sophisticated discussion about which of the many possible natural conditions are desirable environmental conditions for the future.

Keywords: authenticity, discourse, environment, health, landscape, naturalness, wildness

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Hull, R. Bruce; Robertson, David P.; Kendra, Angelina 2001. Public understandings of nature: a case study of local knowledge about "natural" forest conditions. Society and Natural Resources 14:325-340


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