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What use is the turtle?': Cultural perceptions of land, work, animals and 'ecologists' in a Greek farming community.

Theodossopoulos, Dimitrios (1997) What use is the turtle?': Cultural perceptions of land, work, animals and 'ecologists' in a Greek farming community. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the cultural features of landholding and cultivation, as well as perceptions of domestic and wild animals in a community on the island of Zakynthos in southwest Greece. Vassilikos, the community in question, is renowned for its persistent resistance to ecological conservation, as manifested in a ten year long dispute over the local people's right to control parts of their land designated to become a conservation area for the reproduction of Loggerhead sea-turtles. The legislative regulations of turtle conservation allow for the establishment of a marine national park in the area which restrains some inhabitants of Vassilikos from building on their land and engaging in tourism-related enterprises. The particular conservation dispute serves as the common uniting theme of several topics explored in this thesis, all related to the relationship of Vassilikos' people with their physical environment and the animals living in it. In fact, the entire thesis in an attempt to illuminate the cultural matrix behind the local farmers' resistance to ecological conservation. For this reason, the thesis provides a thorough ethnographic analysis of the following six themes: the significance of land ownership for the local farmers, their working relationship with their environment, the relationship between the farmers and their domesticated animals, local attitudes to wild animals, the position and classification of non-human living creatures in Greek Orthodox cosmology, and the passionate involvement of the local farmers with hunting. The thesis concludes by combining the conclusions of these themes to attempt to unravel the pragmatic relationship between the farmers of Vassilikos, their animals and the natural world.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental Philosophy, Anthropology, Cultural
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2564

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