Nature, Culture, and Civilization

  • Robert J. Shepherd
  • Larry Yu
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Archaeology book series (BRIEFSARCHAE, volume 2)


This chapter explores underlying differences between Euro-American and Chinese perspectives on preservation and heritage management. Assumptions about the relationship of “nature” to “culture” and the rationale for material preservation are, in the case of China, quite complex, combining Confucian and Daoist perspectives on the place of humans within nature, a traditional Buddhist lack of concern for material preservation, and a hypermodernizing, broadly utilitarian Maoist-derived emphasis on material growth at the expense of the past and a subsequent exploitation of natural resources. This emphasis on growth has only recently begun to be questioned, as seen for example in an emerging environmental movement in China and a state shift at the national level toward environmental stewardship and sustainable development initiatives.


Heritage Site Cultural Revolution Material Preservation Mass Tourism Spiritual Civilization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Shepherd
    • 1
  • Larry Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.The George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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