The Meaning of Water

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Februar 2004



Focusing on the River Stour in Dorset, this book draws upon a range of data: ethnographic research, cultural mapping, local archives and folklore. It explores the controversies surrounding water ownership and management, and the social and political questions raised by water privatization in the UK.


INTRODUCTION1 Only Connect1 An Analytic Framework3 PART 1. CULTURAL LANDSCAPES8 CHAPTER 1. THE STOUR VALLEY 8 Times and Tides9 Dorset Shires11 20th Century Dorset13 Social Pressure17 CHAPTER 2. LOSING WATER21 Changing Channels21 En-Gendering Water23 Enclosing Water25 Reigning Over Water28 The State of the Industry34 Material Meanings41 The Environmental Consequences45 PART 2. UNDER WATER50 CHAPTER 3. SENSES AND SENSIBILITIES50 Experiencing Water51 Hydrology and Homology62 A Matter of Life and Death64 Order and Disorder67 CHAPTER 4. THINKING WATER 70 Water on the Mind70 Bodies of Water 76 A Matter of Substance79 PART 3. HYDROLATRY AND HYDROLOGY85 CHAPTER 5. HOLY WATER85 Well Beings85 Water in the Church92 Mixed Blessings97 Healing Water102 The Fountain of Knowledge103 Hydrolatry Springs Eternal106 CHAPTER 6. SECULAR HYDROLATRY 108 The Aesthetics of Water108 Walking Along Water110 Gone Fishing114 Messing About in Boats116 CHAPTER 7. THE HYDRODYNAMICS OF ORDER119 H2O119 Only Natural 121 Hydrology and Ecology125 In the Swim129 Common Currency132 PART 4. OWNING WATER135 CHAPTER 8. PRIVATE LIFE135 Against Nature135 Ecology Rules136 Substantial Loss137 Dammed Economics140 Company Culture143 Industry Issues149 CHAPTER 9. GOVERNING WATER159 Regulating Water159 Minding the Quality161 Feeling the Width164 Local Governance171 PART 5. MANAGING WATER175 CHAPTER 10. CULTIVATING WATER175 Industrial Water175 Industrial Relations178 Farming the Valley180 Down on the Farm186 CHAPTER 11. BACK TO NATURE190 Green Water190 English in Nature192 Local Agenda197 Recreating Knowledge199 PART 6. CONTRA FLOWS204 CHAPTER 12. WATERING THE HOUSE AND GARDEN 204 Domestic Space204 Material Disconnection206 Wasting Away208 Watering Cans and Cants215 Quality and Control219 A Certain Quality of Life225 Bottling Out229 CHAPTER 13. WATER PRESSURE233 Over the River233 Cash Flow233 Measured Responses236 Technological Fixes244 Educating Water251 On Message255 CONCLUSION260 An Uncommon Tragedy260 In Solution265 BIBLIOGRAPHY269


Veronica Strang is Professor of Social Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.


'This is a significant book and should be required reading for scientists and engineers entering the wonderful world of water . It provides an important contribution to our understanding of the significance of water resources to human welfare.'Anthropolgical Forum'Veronica Strang's book, The Meaning of Water, carries a message thatneeds to be heard by politicians and policy makers throughout the capitalist world. As the essence of all life, water is sacred, and its control by external profit-making agencies is a violation. By locating her analysis in an enthnography of water, Strang goes on to show how the inexorable drive to commodify everything that people need and useis fundamentally at odds with some of our most deeply held cultural values. Like all the best social scientific research, Strangs work points to what is most wrong, and what is most in need of change'. Kay Milton, Queen's University Belfast 'The author's plea that conflicts over water resources might be re
EAN: 9781859737484
ISBN: 185973748X
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 2004
Seitenanzahl: 320 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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