Changing Environmental Values

Beyond Production and Consumption

Authored by: Jo Vergunst

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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This chapter explores the range of values that currently underpin relationships with rural environments, and those that might do so in the future. Rural areas have long been subject to diverse and sometimes contradictory discourses, ranging from development to dependency, and from repositories of traditional culture to nodes of globalisation. When we consider the environment, we find that tensions in land use, ownership, nature conservation and productivity all play out according to notions of what is appropriate and what is possible in rural places. Here I discuss the kind of values that both underpin these processes and emerge from them. The focus on landscape and environment not only refers to the basis for some of the most fundamental values of rurality, but also allows often dichotomous values – production and consumption, traditional and modern, local and non-local – to be analysed within the same frame of reference.

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