Committee ChairMarsh, Stuart E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation employs techniques from folkecology to identify factors that have influenced lawmakers in their decision-making about animals. The purpose of this research is to understand the natural world as seen by lawmakers, identify and explain variation between lawmakers and scientists priorities, and, ultimately, consider ways to improve communication of understandings between these two cultures. The study is structured to follow Amadeo Rea's recommendation that scholars "note the etic while searching for the emic" (Rea 1998: xx) It compares priorities and then discusses findings to get at the question of meaning. What do different animals mean to lawmakers? What forces are operating when they make or interpret laws on behalf of animals? The answer "takes us into the realm of mythology," as Rea said it would (Rea 1998: xx), and provides an opportunity to consider the foundations of law and science, and the role of reason, narrative and imagination across the disciplines and across time, as lawmakers - who are keepers and shapers of their cultures -- continuously define and redefine what it means to be human, and what that means for other animals. Findings indicate that conservation efforts need to increase the cultural relevance of the natural world, rather than hope that science alone will change the ethic and priorities of lawmakers.
Degree ProgramArid Lands Resource Sciences