Monday, March 18, 2019
Ecosystems and Environmental Discourse :: Essays Papers
Ecosystems and environmental DiscourseWhat is an ecosystem? At first glance, this seems to be a straightforward question, one to be answered by environmental scientists. However, the notion of an ecosystem, or more specifically, the action that posits the live onence of an ecosystem, raises a series of questions that challenge any(prenominal) basic assumptions about the environment. For instance, is an ecosystem a concrete object in the akin elan that a stone or a tree is? Or instead, is an ecosystem a set of interactions between such objects?While ecosystems do and so exist, it is not without dramatic changes in our epistemology that we can speak of such objects without contradiction. approximately importantly, we must acknowledge that the existence of ecosystems is contingent on humans society. Environmental scientists certainly play an important role in describing ecosystems and in prescribing advance management of these systems, but we miss an important aspect of humanit ys role in the environment if we see ecosystems as discrete objects that exist independent of human society. Then what is an ecosystem? An ecosystem is a concept constructed by human society that aids us in perceiving an amazingly complex social system of interactions. This construction is rooted fundamentally in our language and the dialogue that surrounds environmental issues. As such, the concept of discourse and the practice of discourse compendium argon vital to understanding what an ecosystem might be. While there are advantages to perceive ecosystem as concrete objects, it is my intention in this section to describe an substitute(a) view of ecosystems that is rooted in postpositivistic, postmodern analysis of reality. Hopefully, such analysis will to a fault be useful in analyzing other concepts clever to environmental issues. To approach this alternative view, I will outline the concept of discourse as formulated by Michel Foucault, summarize the views and extension of post-Foucauldian discourse analytic theorists, and finally, apply these concepts to the question of ecosystems. Throughout, I will address the epistemic changes implicit in discourse analysis.A discourse is an institutionalized way of speaking that determines not only what we say and how we say it, but also what we do not say. Originating in the field of linguistics, the term discourse initially referred to whole units of speech (conversations) and the speech community in which these units were communicated. William Labov (1972) and other sociolinguists overhear used discourse analysis primarily as a descriptive tool, leaving epistemological and postmodern considerations aside.