Whose forest? Whose land? Whose Ruins? Ethics and conservation
- Richard R Wilk
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The stakes are very high in many struggles over cultural property, not only because the property is itself valuable, but also because property rights of many kinds hinge on cultural identity. However, the language of property rights and possession, and the standards for establishing cultural rights, is founded in antiquated and essentialized concepts of cultural continuity and cultural purity. As cultural property and culturally-defined rights become increasingly valuable in the global marketplace, disputes over ownership and management are becoming more and more intense. Using the example of a recent lawsuit over logging on Mayan Indian reservations in the Central American country of Belize, this paper argues that cultural essentialist positions are no longer tenable. Assigning exclusive ownership of globally important resources to any group or entity on purely cultural grounds is likely to prolong conflict instead of creating workable management structures. The author instead advocates a concept of “stakeholding” which acknowledges the legitimate interests of diverse individuals and groups.
- Cassell, Joan and Jacobs, Sue-Ellen (1987) Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, Washington DC.
- Wilk, Richard (1985) The Ancient Maya and the Political Present, Journal of Anthropological Research 41 (3): 307–326.
- Thomas, Nicholas (1994) Colonialism’s Culture: Anthropology, Travel, and Government, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
- Kahn, Joel (1990) Towards a History of the Critique of Economism: The Nineteenth-Century German Origins of the Ethnographer’s Dilemma, Man 25: 230–249. CrossRef
- Dawkins, Richard (1986) The Blind Watchmaker, Longman’s Scientific and Technical, Harlow.
- Boas, Franz (1911) The Mind of Primitive Man, Macmillan, New York.
- Kahn, Joel (1995) Culture, Multiculture, Postculture, Sage Publications, London.
- Latour, Bruno (1993) We Have Never Been Modern, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA.
- Wolf, Eric (1982) Europe and the People Without History, University of California Press, Berkeley.
- McCay, Bonnie and Acheson, James (1987) The Question of the Commons: the Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources, University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
- Wilk, Richard (1991) Household Ecology: Economic Change and Domestic Life Among the Kekchi Maya of Belize, University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
- Toledo Maya Cultural Council and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (1997) Maya Atlas, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA.
- Van Sertima, Ivan (1976) They Came Before Columbus, Random House, New York.
- Whose forest? Whose land? Whose Ruins? Ethics and conservation
Science and Engineering Ethics
Volume 5, Issue 3 , pp 367-374
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Richard R Wilk (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Indiana University, Anthropology, SB130, 47405, Bloomington, IN, USA