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Urban Ethnobotany: Theoretical and Methodological Contributions

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Abstract

Urban Ethnobotany studies, among other issues, the botanical knowledge characteristic of those pluricultural contexts that are the urban agglomerations. The botanical knowledge and beliefs guide the strategies of selection and consumption of plants, parts thereof, and plant products. The development of a research in the conurbation Buenos Aires-La Plata (Argentina) enables the characterization of the urban botanical knowledge as a dynamic and complex corpus which includes nontraditional elements and others linked to local family traditions as well as to traditions concerning different groups of immigrants. From this starting point, this chapter includes some theoretical reflections and innovative methodological tools to understand the composition and dynamic of urban botanical knowledge, based on the evaluation of the diversity of plant elements present in the studied area and their circulation. This is performed both in the restricted context of immigrant groups (Bolivian, Chinese) and the general commercial circuit.

Key words

  • Urban ethnobotany
  • Botanical knowledge
  • Theoretical framework
  • Methodological tools
  • Conurbation Buenos Aires-La Plata
  • Argentina
  • Immigrants

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge Dr. Ulysses P. de Albuquerque, Prof. Emilio Ulibarri, and Dr. Patricia M. Arenas, the different contributors to the field work carried out, the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, and the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) of Argentina for their diverse supports, both direct and indirect, to the implementation of this work.

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Hurrell, J.A., Pochettino, M.L. (2014). Urban Ethnobotany: Theoretical and Methodological Contributions. In: Albuquerque, U., Cruz da Cunha, L., de Lucena, R., Alves, R. (eds) Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. Springer Protocols Handbooks. Humana Press, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8636-7_18

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