Defining Culture : A Dilemma

1856 WordsOct 8, 20158 Pages
DEFINING CULTURE: A dilemma in environmental assessment The variation in which culture is articulated in many studies, even beyond environmental assessments, affirms culture as a hazy concept (Bennett, 2015). Nevertheless, it is broadly defined as a societal way of life (Salzman, 2001). It is on the basis of the complexity of defining, ‘what culture comprises of?’ that make it difficult to evaluate how an occurrence impacts it. The fluidity in the concept has led to several contests between the bearers of cultures and the outsiders who feel compelled to define them. For the purpose of this article, the bearers of cultures and the outsiders are referred to as natives and non-natives respectively. The non-natives are used in the stead of scientists, resources managers, judges, juries and expert witnesses. Risks to Culture and Cultural Losses: Examples of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in New Zealand and Nuclear Weapon Test in Marshall Island In the wake of Genetically Modified (GM) cattle research field trial in New Zealand, Satterfield and Roberts (2008) explored the debate between the state actors and the Maori people regarding the acceptability of the GM research in terms of the impacts on Maori culture. A peculiarity of this case is the political relevance of the Maori people, as the case indicates that the Maori community are important players in the governance scheme of New Zealand. This could have translated into why their interests were included in the
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