416 pages, Illus
Throughout history, the weather has been both feared and revered for its powerful influence over living creatures. Not only does it control our moods, activities, and fashions, but it has also played a crucial role in broader issues of cultural identity, concepts of time, and economic development. In fact, the weather has become so ingrained in our everyday routines that many of us forget just how profoundly this omnipotent force shapes culture. With the continuing rise in global warming and consequential change in weather patterns, our awareness and understanding of this topic has never been so important. This fascinating book is the first to explore our close relationship with the weather. From folklore to visual representations, agricultural and health practices, and unusual weather events, Weather, Climate, Culture demonstrates that the way we discuss and interpret meteorological phenomena concerns not only the events in question but, more complexly, the cultural, political, and historical framework in which we discuss them. Why is it politically safe to discuss current weather conditions, but highly controversial to discuss long-term climate change? Why are the British renowned for talking about the weather and why, in the eighteenth century, was this regarded as genteel? How can accounts of cultural or moral change be associated with narratives of changing climate and vice-versa? Drawing on a wide range of case studies from around the world, this pioneering book provides an original and lively perspective on a subject that continues to have an incalculable impact on the way we live. It will serve as a landmark text for years to come.
'Strauss and Orlove's lively and interesting text is a very welcome addition to the anthropological canon [that] immediately raises the question as to why such an important and fascinating aspect of human experience has previously been studied so little. It highlights the universal importance of weather to human societies, and the consequent potential for comparative analysis, thus connecting the work with a central theoretical issue for anthropologists.' Veronica Strang, Oceania 'This book provides serious thinking about the meaning and cultural significance of meteorology and climatology... The book is a powerful antidote to technocratic and scientific triumphalism.' David Bowman, Director of the Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, in 'Bulletin of the American Meterological Society'
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