Reordering the Natural World: Humans and Animals in the City
Published: February 2001© 2001
274 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in, 10 b&w illustrations
In Reordering the Natural World, Annabelle Sabloff argues that the everyday practices of contemporary capitalist society reinforce the conviction that we are profoundly alienated from the rest of nature. At the same time, she reveals the often disguised affinities and sense of connection urban Canadians manifest in their relations with animals and the natural world.
Sabloff reflects on how the discipline of anthropology has contributed to the prevailing Western perception of a divide between nature and culture. She suggests that the present ecological crisis has resulted largely from the ways in which Western societies have construed nature as a cultural system. Since new ideas about nature may be critical in changing humanity's destructive interactions with the biosphere, Reordering the Natural World is invaluable in exploring how urban Canadians develop and sustain their current relationship with the macrocosm, and in considering whether these relationships might be altered by reconceptualizing anthropology itself as an integral part of natural history.
With this unique text, Sabloff not only provides provocative insight into the study of relations between humans and the natural world, she lays the cornerstone for building an entirely new structure for the study of anthropology itself.
'...a valuable contribution to an expanding critical literature that engages ecological questions, not just in Anthropology, but across a range of disciplines.'Richard Nash, Department of English, Indiana University
'This is a well-documented analysis of a significant contemporary problem, namely the relationship of humans to their environment, in this case, their relationship to animals.'Elvi Whittaker, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
'The scope of the topics covered is unusually wide, and the sound judgments and insights which the author offers about this diverse literature are impressive.'Harvey Feit, Department of Anthropology, McMaster University