Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.742373
Title: The fox, the fence and the flux : human-animal relations and environmental knowledge in rural and protected areas in south-central Chile
Author: Benavides Medina, Sebastián Pelayo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 6781
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
This thesis focuses on the relationship of various actors with wild animals, specifically wild predators protected by law, in rural and protected areas of south-central Chile (IX Araucanía Region). It is based on a 12 month period of ethnographic fieldwork, distributed in the Huerquehue National Park, a private protected area ('Cañi Sanctuary') and a small farm close to the Villarrica National Park. Participant observation was developed with park rangers, conservation researchers and small-scale farmers. Most of these were also interviewed through in-depth, semi structured approaches, as other key informants, mainly neighbouring local farmers and government officials. My aim is to understand anthropologically how humans and animals interact, considering various contexts, and contributing to Chilean academia in better understanding the situation of endangered species in the country. The main theoretical points I argue are that human-animal relations are inscribed in a broader environmental approach, regarding classifications about the natural world, humanity's place in it, and their separation. Thus, the study analyses participants' environmental engagements and their relations with wild protected predators and other animals, showing how practical engagements help to 'piece together' the surroundings and other creatures. Considering uncertainty and fuzzy boundaries regarding implied classifications and fleeting experiences with animals, the analysis then focuses on the interpretation of animal tracks and traces and tracking, as flexible and open ended engagements with the environment and its clues, connected to the semiotic concept of 'abduction'. Finally, I return to reflections concerning a fluctuating world, crossed by uncertainties and categories' limitations. Using the concept of 'the uncanny', I explore alternative interpretations of relations with animals and the environment, connected with strangeness and unpredictability, where regular knowledge and ontological assumptions are challenged. I finish by stressing the fertility of being open to complex knowledge, related with a fluctuating and uncanny world that resists well-defined categorisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.742373  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human-animal relationships ; Endangered species ; Environmental ethics
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