Climate and Culture

Author: Crate, Susan A.

Source: Current Trends in Human Ecology, Issue data not provided , pp. 35-57(23)

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing in association with GSE Research

Buy & download fulltext article:


Price: $25.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The central argument of this chapter is that 21st century global climate change has cultural implications for the earth's many human inhabitants and, accordingly, anthropologists are strategically well-suited to interpret, facilitate, translate, communicate, advocate and act in response. In fact, anthropologists and other social scientists are increasingly engaging the issue of culture and climate change, and doing so in many contexts be they encountering and facilitating research on the local effects and broader social, cultural, economic and political issues of climate change with their field partners or working as practitioners and educators, reframing their work in the discourse and application of concepts such as sustainability and carbon-neutrality. This chapter explores some of these diverse roles for 21st century social science and specifically anthropology. My intent is not to speak just about and to anthropologists but, perhaps more importantly, to provide an overview of recent research and practice by anthropologists and to increase the multi-disciplinary understanding of the important place of culture in the climate change discourse.

To these ends, I first substantiate the chapter's overarching climateculture argument. With that as a frame, I provide an inventory of recent research in anthropology and other fields, beginning with a brief overview of some of the more recent edited volumes and monographs of the new millennium, some of an anthropological and some of an interdisciplinary focus, that engage climate and culture. The chapter then explores research efforts in a diversity of world regions to illustrate, through “anthropological encounters”, how place-based peoples are perceiving and responding to climate change and the research interventions of anthropologists collaborating with these groups. I next discuss anthropologists' roles as field researchers, academics and practitioners. I conclude with a discussion of the importance of engaging in interdisciplinary collaborative projects to effectively engage in issues of climate-culture.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Current Trends in Human Ecology
    Anthropology, sociology, and ecology come together in this book, where the unifying goal of theorizing and practising interdisciplinarity in human ecology is shown by, closely tracking examples of current trends and developments. This book is a harvest from the XV International Meeting of the Society for Human Ecology, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 4-7, 2007. This volume ends by indicating several lines of thought and of analyses on current subjects, as follows: sustainability in different cultural contexts and perspectives, methods towards approaching sustainable systems, and current global concerns. Those include agriculture in tropical areas (slash-and-burn practices), climate change, and nature and human behavioural patterns, among others.
  • Submit a Paper
  • Purchase hard copy print edition
  • Learn more about CSP @ GSE Research
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page