chapter  4
20 Pages

Environment and Culture in Latin America

Community, Autonomy and Resistance

This chapter proposes that we consider potentially useful models of sustainability, that is, models of the types of behaviors and attitudes that reflect an ethic of care for the continued functioning, and even flourishing, of natural processes. It considers some of the possible sources of Latin America's distinctiveness. The chapter introduces three theoretical approaches, which have eloquent advocates in Latin America, for redrawing the human-environmental relationship. It discusses the idea of cultural identities rooted in land, cases illustrating sustainability, and theoretical analyses supportive of such ways of achieving sustainability. The chapter proposes that the ways of achieving sustainability discussed illustrate an implicit environmental ethic, and that this ethic has counterparts elsewhere, outside Latin America. It concludes by suggesting that the crucial feature that brings about, and maintains, these sustainability-enabling beliefs and practices is a particular type of cultural matrix.