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Killing a tree is the same as killing a part of Creation: A comparative study of Western and Indigenous’ worldviews, views of nature and knowledge systems
Linköping University, The Tema Institute. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Nowadays there is a great deal of concern for global warming. Researchers and politicians all over the world are urgently trying to find solutions to it. However, most of the solutions which consider sustainable development have a technical perspective to environmental problems. The alarm of global warming might open up for new ways of solving problems. Indigenous peoples live close to nature and their specific ecosystems which give them a unique understanding for the complexity of nature.

However, indigenous people and their knowledge are rarely integrated in international regimes, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment is the most inclusive regime. Integration of Indigenous Knowledge have been successful in Western environmental management, such as in EIA’s. This ignorance to indigenous knowledge as a source to knowledge illustrates a Eurocentrism in environmental management (McGregor, 2004; Tsuji & Ho, 2002; Berkes, 1999; Smith & Sharp, 2012; Battiste & Henderson, 2000).

This study has several aims. Firstly I will compare what has been interpreted as a holistic worldview with the atomistic one. Secondly, I will compare the organic view of nature to the technocratic view of nature. Thirdly, a comparison of the positivist-reductionist approach to the term “Indigenous Knowledge” as McGregor (2004) describes it will be done. Furthermore, the aim of this study is to understand if and if so how IK challenges the positivist-reductionist approach and whether these knowledge systems are compatible with each other. At last, a new analytical framework will be developed to support my theories and clarify them.

This study concludes that while there are fundamental differences between the worldviews, views of nature and knowledge systems. This study stress that indigenous knowledge is compatible with the positivist-reductionist approach. Furthermore it is desirable to include IK in Western society further because Western society can make benefits from indigenous peoples view on nature and their view on knowledge from an environmental management perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 39 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-93315ISRN: LIU-TEMA/MV-C--1309--SEOAI: diva2:624080
Subject / course
Bachelor of Science Thesis, Environmental Science Programme
Available from: 2013-06-04 Created: 2013-05-30 Last updated: 2013-06-04Bibliographically approved

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