Categories are all around us: Towards more porous, flexible, and negotiable boundaries in conservation-production landscapes
Number of Authors: 1
2015 (English)In: Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, ISSN 0029-1951, E-ISSN 1502-5292, Vol. 69, no 4, 207-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In order to communicate and act in the world we divide it into categories, with boundaries that define belonging and exclusion. Categories take shape through processes influenced by, for example, history, discourses, ecologies, and power relations. Although we intellectually know that categories are social constructs we tend to treat them as if they have an intrinsic reality of their own when we describe and act in any given landscape. This understanding is explored within a political ecology framework through a case study of protected areas in relation to other land uses in Sweden. The study relies primarily on interviews with actors affected by conservation efforts, and highlights that categories are not neutral phenomenon, but have ecological, material and social effects in the landscape. It discusses how the simplification of a complex and dynamic whole into static categories can result in paradoxes with unexpected and sometimes negative effects on rural development and land care arrangements. The study advocates a more flexible understanding and handling of categories - and thus of landscapes - to enhance the potential for multiple landscape values to exist in overlapping, dynamic and paradoxical ways.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 69, no 4, 207-218 p.
boundaries, categories, conservation, farming, reserves
Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122774DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2015.1060258ISI: 000362503100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122774DiVA: diva2:868744