New Featured Article!

“Contradictions in Tourism” Available as Free PDF

May 25, 2016

The latest Environment and Society featured article is now available! This month’s article, “Contradictions in Tourism: The Promise and Pitfalls of Ecotourism as a Manifold Capitalist Fix,” comes from Volume 3 (2012). Robert Fletcher and Katja Neves review an interdisciplinary literature exploring the relationship between tourism and capitalism focused on ecotourism in particular.

Visit the featured article page to download your copy of the article today before it’s gone! A new article is featured every month.

Photo by Whit Welles (CC BY 3.0)

Photo by Whit Welles (CC BY 3.0)

ROBERT FLETCHER is associate professor in the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He has conducted ethnographic research in North, Central, and South America concerning the practice of ecotourism as a strategy for environmental conservation and sustainable development in addition to working for many years as an ecotourism guide and planner in a variety of locations. He is the author of Romancing the Wild: Cultural Dimensions of Ecotourism (Duke University Press, 2015).

KATJA NEVES is associate professor of Sociology of the Environment at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. She has recently completed two research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada (a Standard Research Grant and an Insight Development Grant) to investigate the contemporary reinvention of urban botanical gardens around the world as agents of biodiversity conservation. Results of this research will appear in her forthcoming book, Post-Normal Conservation: The Re-Ordering of Biodiversity Governance and Environmental Subjectivity, which accounts for the emergence of urban socio-natures and the establishment of multistakeholder governmentality within the context of post-2008 austerity discursive economic frameworks. In 2016, Dr. Neves began a new five-year SSHRC-funded project (an Insight Research Grant) titled Botanic Gardens and the Politics of National and Transnational Environmental Governance. It tackles newly emerging systems of environmental governance while going beyond extant accounts of neoliberal biodiversity conservation. Additional information can be found here.

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Haiti Is Covered with Trees

May 19, 2016

Andrew Tarter

Haiti has been the unfortunate recipient of many an exaggerated moniker, including the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the Republic of NGOs, and the most deforested country in the Americas—to name just a few.

Concerning this latter label, virtually every single popular media description, development narrative, and academic account addressing deforestation in Haiti over the past five decades opens with the cliché citation of a grim and staggering statistic: only 2 percent of Haiti is forested.

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The Impacts of Marketing “Nutrient Powerhouses” on Edge-Dwellers

May 4, 2016

Amber Abrams

Superfoods and superfruits are terms we have increasingly become accustomed to. Although these terms are variably defined (click here, or here, or here), as their names suggests, these are foods that are marketed as being nutrient rich. In fact, one website touts these foods as “ancient abundant energy,” claiming that they provide the “planet’s best and most powerful” sources of “natural nutrition.” The “superfood” term does not originate from dietetics or nutritional science but is in fact widely understood as a clever marketing tool.[1] Despite the relative lack of evidence to support claims of these foods as the “most powerful,” the superfood trend remains a powerful attracting force. For example, you would be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay more than $5 for a blueberry smoothie, but if you called it a “superfood smoothie,” my guess is that many urban gym goers would be convinced that their breakfast shake is providing them with all the nutrients and energy that they need for the day, and therefor they might not be bothered by a higher price tag. If I were reading this right now, I would be asking “And so, if a wealthy urbanite wants to spend $8 on a smoothie, how is this an issue that should feature on a blog focused on environment and society?”

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