Monday, March 12, 2018

Mather et al. 2006. "Post-productivism and rural land use: cul de sac or challenge for theorization?"

Is post-productivism a thing? That's what Mather et al (2006) seek to find out. They begin with a very helpful lit review on the subject:

"Recent years have seen a vigorous but limited debate on the concept of rural post-productivism. Initial reference to the concept in the early 1990s (e.g. Shucksmith, 1993: Ward, 1993) was soon followed by an apparent acceptance, implied by reference to a post-productivist countryside (e.g. Halfacree, 1997, 1999; Marsden, 1998a; Wilson and Wilson, 1997). Scepticism, however, quickly set in, with some critics referring to the concept as a ‘myth’ (Morris and Evans, 1999, p. 352) and a ‘false blind alley’ (Evans et al., 2002, p. 328)."

So, there's a disagreement and they are going to weigh in. They are geographers, so they are focused on land use more than social change. Also, they are British. They locate the debate as a mostly British one with Europeans and some Australians writing about it as well (p. 442). Second, most of the literature is about agriculture rather than forestry and other land uses. Third, they don't think the term post-productivist has been defined well enough.

They provide a good definition buried in a footnote: "Recently, however, Bradshaw (2004) has suggested that post-productivism "reflects the postulated reorientation of primary agriculture from meeting the singular goal of producing the greatest quantity of food at the least possible cost to meeting multiple goals such as producing quality food, maintaining rural livelihoods and landscapes and promoting environmental stewardship" (Mather et al p. 442).

However, they say that most works is concerned more with "dimensions" than definitions. By this they mean that most work looks at the traits associated with post-productivist agriculture and tries to quantify how much of these things an area must have to count as post-productivist, and whether the different elements of post-productivism are correlated to one another. An example of these elements are Wilson and Rigg's (2003): "policy change, organic farming, counter-urbanization, the inclusion of environmental NGOs at the core of policy making, consumption in the countryside, and on-farm diversification activities" (Mather et al p. 442).

The counterpoint to declaring agriculture post-productivist is that farmers have not shifted in their thinking or practices (p. 442). Yes, a lot of consumers like to eat organic food now, and governments are trying to write policy to make agriculture more environmentally friendly, but the farmers themselves are not necessarily going along with that.

Mather et al then point out that it's hard to make a case that post-productivism exists or doesn't while we don't have a clear definition for it (p. 443). Therefore, they will attempt to make one up. Actually, they offer two ideas:

"A possible core characteristic is a change in relative emphasis from commodity to non-commodity outputs — from maximising production of material goods in the form of food and wood (used here as a shorthand term for food, industrial crops, various forms of fibre and forest products), to broader objectives, including the provision of ‘environmental services’ used as an umbrella term, encompassing recreation and amenity as well as the ‘ecosystem services’ considered by Costanza et al. (1997))." (p. 443).

Marsden (1995) used the terms ‘productivist’ and ‘post-productivist’ to describe a policy shift "from encouragement of food and farm production to one that also attempts to deliver other environmental and consumer-based benefits" (p. 289). (Mather et al p. 444).

In other words, productivist agriculture is about producing the maximum amount of cheap food, and post-productivism isn't - particularly not when maximizing food production makes low quality food and hurts the environment.

Mather et al look for evidence of post-productivism in the UK. The UK imported much of its food in the lead up to the two World Wars. The wars, and particularly the shortages they caused, led the nation to enact policies to produce a domestic food supply. Once the shortages were far in the past (around the late 1980s and early 1990s), they stopped. (This context makes me think the post-productivist concept is less relevant to the U.S. because we seem plenty busy over here not just trying to feed ourselves but to also "feed the world.")

Admittedly, this is where I lost interest in the article because it's not immediately relevant to the research I am doing, so my synopsis of it stops here.

* Bradshaw, B., 2004. Plus c’est la meˆ me chose? Questioning crop diversification as a response to agricultural deregulation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Rural Studies 20, 35–48.
* Costanza, R., et al., 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387, 253–260.
* Evans, N., Morris, C., Winter, M., 2002. Conceptualizing agriculture: a critique of post-productivism as the new orthodoxy. Progress in Human Geography 26, 313–332.
* Halfacree, K., 1997. Contrasting roles for the post-productivist country- side. In: Cloke, P., Little, J. (Eds.), Contested Countryside Cultures. Routledge, London, pp. 70–93.
* Halfacree, K., 1999. A new space or spatial effacement? Alternative futures for the post-productivist countryside. In: Walford, N., Everitt, J.C., Napton, D.E. (Eds.), Reshaping the Countryside: Perceptions and Processes of Rural Change. CABI, Wallingford, pp. 67–76.
* Marsden, T., 1995. Beyond agriculture? Regulating the new rural spaces. Journal of Rural Studies 11, 285–297.
* Marsden, T., 1998a. Economic perspectives. In: Ilbery, B. (Ed.), The Geography of Rural Change. Longman, Harlow, pp. 13–30.
* Mather, A.S., G. Hill, and M. Nijnik. 2006. ‘‘Post-productivism and Rural Land Use: Cul de Sac or Challenge for Theorization?’’ Journal of Rural Studies 22(4):441–55.
* Morris, C., Evans, N., 1999. Research on the geography of agricultural change: redundant or revitalized? Area 31, 349–358.
* Shucksmith, M., 1993. Farm household behaviour and the transition to post-productivism. Journal of Agricultural Economics 44, 466–478.
* Ward, N., 1993. The agricultural treadmill and the rural environment in the post-productivist era. Sociologia Ruralis 33, 348–364.
* Wilson, G.A., Rigg, J., 2003. ‘Post-productivist’ agricultural regimes and the South: discordant concepts? Progress in Human Geography 27, 681–707.
* Wilson, O., Wilson, G., 1997. Common cause of common concern? The role of common lands in the post-productivist countryside. Area 29, 45–58.

Ward. 1993. "The Agricultural Treadmill and the Rural Environment in the Post-Productivist Era."

Ward (1993) describes the relationship between productivist and post-productivist agriculture to the agricultural treadmill. He cites counterurbanization as one factor leading to post-productivist agriculture. The shift to post-productivist agriculture was due to both economic and environmental reasons. Counterurbanization is one part of the environmental changes. Ward mostly writes about the UK but this article applies also to the rest of Europe and North America.

The term "agricultural treadmill" can be traced back to agricultural economist William Cochrane, who coined it in 1958. At its inception, it referred to a dynamic that forced farmers to continually adopt new technologies to stay afloat. The first new adopters would gain an advantage in the market by adopting the technology. More farmers would follow, but the gains the early adopters got would be lost. Eventually, the late adopters would be forced to adopt the technology too if they wanted to keep their farms.

This is oversimplifying and perhaps distorting the concept, but imagine a new technology that makes a farm more efficient. The first farms to adopt it might produce better quality products, or lower cost products. They can keep the profits and use them, or they can lower prices and outcompete other farmers. Eventually, once the majority have adopted the new technology, however, the new low price becomes standard. Late adopters must adopt the technology too unless they want to sell their crops at a loss.

The treadmill is harmful for both economic and environmental reasons. Economically, it creates a difficult to impossible situation for farmers. Environmentally, it pushes farmers toward more environmentally harmful practices. However, Ward (and apparently the literature) see the treadmill as a feature of structural conditions and not individual farmer choices:

"The treadmill can best be conceptualized as a set of structural conditions, which have been shaped by international political and economic processes and became embodied in agricultural and food policies across the advanced capitalist world. In turn, these conditions have played an important role in transforming how farmers ‘see the world’ and organize their production, such that the intensification of production through the application of science and technology has become a ‘logic’ of production at the farm level" (Ward 1993:349).

Roughly speaking, Ward sees Fordism and the corresponding productivist agriculture it engendered, facilitated by the "symbiosis" of the state, agro-industrial capital, and agricultural sciences, as creating the structural conditions for the agricultural treadmill. Ward calls these structural conditions "the macro treadmill." To discuss this, we need some definitions.

Fordism "is based on the expansion of domestic markets for mass-produced goods in advanced capitalist states, and requires the progressive adoption of mass consumption by the industrial working class" (Ward 1993:353). This is what happened in the mid-20th century in the U.S.

To make this happen, the U.S. (and Canada and Western Europe) adopted "productivist" agriculture. Citing Goodman and Redclift (1991), Ward explains that there were two main influences in shaping the agricultural system after World War II. First, in the Fordist period, agriculture needed to provide cheap food to an urban industrial workforce which would, in turn, enable higher proportions of household income to be spent on non-food consumption, and so further integrate the industrial working class in the market for mass-produced goods" (Ward 1993:354). This it did. You can see the stats for what percent of disposable income each nation spends on food. The U.S. is the lowest. Last I checked it was nine percent. It was much higher pre-World War II.

Second, accumulation occurred within food and agriculture itself (Ward 1993:354). Farmers don't just hand weed, plow with an ox team, and save seeds anymore. They buy machines and inputs from corporations. And the food they grow is often sold to a corporation. Some of it is sold as fresh fruits and vegetables, but a lot of it is processed, packaged, and branded. Therefore, corporations get rich on both ends. (Ward is still citing Goodman and Redclift here, but Kloppenburg's First the Seed is a great read about agriculture and capitalist accumulation.) Ward writes, "The pattern of accumulation, they argue, is shaped by the biological constraints of the agricultural production process and human food consumption requirements, but in the process of transforming agriculture, environmental problems have resulted" (Ward 1993:354).

In other words, the normal rules of capitalism, when applied to agriculture, run headlong into nature. A farm isn't a factory. It doesn't play by the same rules. Therefore, the way capitalism has developed in agriculture is shaped by nature, and it in turn led to environmental problems.

Continuing with Goodman and Redclift, two processes were at play in adapting the agri-food system to Fordism. First, capital needed to develop new markets for commodities and second, "the mutual interests of a scientific community and agro-industrial capital in adopting a high-technology model of agricultural production and development" (Ward 1993:354). Through these processes, the agricultural treadmill became system-wide.

The changes to the Fordist/Productivist regime came about beginning in the 1980s when states in North America and Europe started to halt or reduce the subsidies that had propped it up (Ward 1991:357). Simultaneously, many countries became more concerned over food quality and the environment (Ward 1991:357). This is where the shift began to Post-Productivist agriculture (or at least Ward says so - some other scholars question it):

"In the Post-Productivist era "The economic pressures now faced on farms arise directly from the consequences of the technology/policy model in the Fordist regime of accumulation. Accumulation has become concentrated in those sectors of the modern food system both upstream and downstream of the farm such that farmers’ economic position in the food system is being weakened. In turn, agriculture not only receives a shrinking share of total value-added in the food production process, but the nature of farming practice becomes increasingly determined by off-farm interests, either because of the power of input manufacturers to influence patterns of technological change (Munton et aI. 1990) or because food processors and retailers exert pressures through contract purchasing arrangements to determine food quality specifications" (Ward 1991:358).

I believe what he is saying there is that farmers were price takers on both ends (on buying inputs and selling commodities) which put a squeeze on them, and farmers are getting a decreasing "farm share" (the amount of each dollar spent on food that goes directly back to the farmer). He goes on to say:
"The combination in the 1970s of a production- oriented support policy without constraints on the quantity produced and low real interest rates encouraged high levels of debt-financed investment in agricultural land, machinery and buildings. However, by the mid-1980s, and following the EC’s attempts to curtail over-production, farmers who had followed this strategy of business growth became embroiled in a debt trap of rising real interests rates, collapsing land values and falling farm incomes" (Ward 1991:358).

In other words, there was the farm crisis of the 1980s, and a lot of farmers lost their farms. Those who remained often got larger, buying up the land of those who lost their farms. During the same period, the effects of environmental harm were catching up to everyone, and nations began to put environmental regulations in place (Ward 1991:358).

This is where counterurbanization fits in. As people move from cities and suburbs to the country to enjoy rural life (and not farm themselves), "a growing number of farmers now have new neighbours who often have quite different ideas about how the rural environment should be managed... The farmers felt that social change in the countryside has further diminished their autonomy." (Ward 1991:359).

It's at the end here that Ward makes any reference at all to the question of whether agriculture has actually changed from productivist to post-productivist (which some scholars doubt):

"The treadmill continues to trundle on, however, in part because the productivist rationale or ethos remains prevalent among agricultural interests. This need not necessarily be solely because the technology/policy model served the interests of the agricultural industry (or at least those sections which survived through accumulation) but because the productivist era was characterized by clearly defined goals of expansion and technological ‘progression’ about which there was little disagreement. Achieving the goals of producing food for the nation facilitated a sense of pride in the industry" (Ward 1991:359).

Farmers are now farming in a different context from the productivist heyday of the 1950s and 1960s, but that doesn't necessarily mean the farmers themselves have changed - or want to change.

Sources cited:
Goodman, D. and M. Redclift (1991), Refashioning Nature: Food, Ecology and Culture (London: Routledge).
Ward, Neil. 1993. "The Agricultural Treadmill and the Rural Environment in the Post-Productivist Era." Sociologia Ruralis, 33: 348–364. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9523.1993.tb00969.x

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Stryker, Sheldon. 1980. Symbolic Interactionism: A Social Structural Version

Stryker's book on symbolic interactionism is one of the driest books I have ever attempted to read. Therefore, I am going to summarize part of it here to hopefully save myself from having to ever re-read it.

Stryker begins by noting that symbolic interactionism, as he means it, is a "frame of reference" or "perspective" but not a "theory" (p. 8). Why? Because theories are falsifiable (p. 10). That is, you can test a theory and, if it is false, you can prove it false with evidence (p. 8). What he offers as the symbolic interaction frame of reference is not falsifiable. Also, a frame of reference does not exclude other frames of reference (p. 9). That is, they can both be true.

Next, he gives his perspective on science. Specifically, a theory can be considered true even if it does not explain every single case (p. 11). This is first because "no two events or behaviors are precisely alike" and second because "science can never comprehend events or behaviors in their full complexity" (p. 11). Therefore, he rejects a "deterministic" view of science (p. 10-11); that is, he rejects the idea that "it must be possible to explicate a complete set of causes sufficient to account for every case without exception of some behavior" (p 11). Instead, he says it is enough for science to explain "some regulatory in the behavior one is interested in" (p. 11).

Next, Stryker begins to trace the intellectual history of symbolic interactionism. The term was created by Herbert Blumer in 1937. However, the line of thinking that led up to Blumer's work is a long one, beginning with the Scottish moral philosophers David Hume, Frances Hutcheson, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson "and others" (p. 16). These men were empiricists (p. 17). "They denied that men were motivated by reason, but they saw the source of human action variously in sympathy, common sense, moral sense, belief, instinct, and habit" (p. 17-18). Additionally, they believed that "psychology itself could not be comperehended without taking into account the facts of human association" (p. 18). In other words, if you want to understand the psychology of any one human, you have to also understand their interactions with other humans.

Here is a summary of their contributions:
  • Adam Smith: People understand if their own conduct is acceptable by seeing how others react to it. The reactions of others serve as a sort of mirror. (p. 18) Sympathy allows us to empathize - to feel the emotions someone else is feeling (p. 19). "Society becomes a vast network of interpersonal communication through which the participants are controlled by the approval and disapproval, the desires and evaluations of others" (p. 19).
  • David Hume: Humans are dependent on family and community for survival. They develop sympathy, the "psychological tendency to share the feelings of others" even if others' feelings are very different from one's own (p. 19).
  • Adam Ferguson: He wrote about instinct vs. habit. If people have instincts, they also are free to act differently from them. It's difficult to tell habits from instincts even though habits are acquired through human interaction and instincts are innate. If we could distinguish between them, Ferguson believes "habit has a larger role in human behavior than does instinct" (p. 20).
  • William James: Very influenced by Darwin, wrote about instinct vs habit, consciousness, and the self. James says that instinct is "the faculty to produce certain ends, without the foresight of these ends and without prior learning" (p. 21). He believes instincts are "superseded" by habit, defined as "behavior learned and modified (and modifiable) by experience. The basis of habit is memory" (p. 22). "Human beings can and do develop attitudse and feelings about themselves and see themselves as they see any other object in the external world" (p. 22). James distinguishes between four different types of selves: the material self, the spiritual self, the social self, and pure ego (p. 22). Stryker is interested in the social self. It appears that the social self is the idea of you that each person who knows you has in their mind? (p. 23). In any case, one has a different social self for each different group of people whose opinion one cares about, and if their opinion of your social self is harmed, then you are harmed (p. 23). People naturally want "to be recognized by other human beings" and that is the basis for self esteem. But James divides self esteem into two parts. The "subjective" part is your aspirations (how you want to be seen); the objective part is in "the recognition one gets from others" (p. 23).

I think this is likely a very poor description of the work of William James and his social self, and my understanding of what Stryker wrote may be inaccurate. I don't know that I can make more sense of it from Stryker's words without actually reading what James wrote in Principles of Psychology (New York: Holt, 1890), Vol II, p. 291-294.

James Mark Baldwin
Next in Stryker's line is James Mark Baldwin (p. 23-24). He modified James' concept of the self but believed the entire self is "social in its origins" (p. 24). He posited three stages children go through: projective, subjective, and ejective. The first consists of "becoming aware of others, drawing distinctions between them and objects, and differentiating among others" (that is, telling different people apart). Second, the child imitates the behavior of others and learns that there are feelings associated with that behavior (p. 24). Last, the child learns that other people have feelings too. Baldwin's work influences Cooley and G.H. Mead.

John Dewey
Dewey believes that social customs are collective habits (p 24). Habits are the basis of individual personality formation, and customs are the basis of social organization, but because customs are collective habits, "the individual cannot be set in contrast to society; there can be no deep chasm or fundamental opposition between the self and social order; and personality develops within a social context" (p. 24). I'm skipping about a page of Dewey but Stryker highlights two ideas from his work. First, "his rejection of the conception of society as a monolithic structure" because "society consists of many associations and not a single organization" (p. 26). Second, Dewey insisted that social science and philosophy focus on "everyday situations and problems" (p. 36).

Charles Horton Cooley
Up to this point, most of the people noted are philosophers and psychologists. Cooley brings their work into sociology (p. 26). To Cooley, each of us has a conception of society in our mind. Stryker has a very good paragraph about this (which he calls a "subjectivist" perspective) that seems worth sharing:

"It is this way of thinking about social relationships that has been criticized as solipsistic. That is, if imaginations are the solid facts of society, it seems to follow that there are as many societies as there are individual imaginations. If our imaginations differ, how can we get beyond these differences and to what do we refer these differences in order to build general knowledge in society?" (p. 27).

Cooley, while never naming Adam Smith as an influence, ran with his concept of the looking glass self. Stryker describes Cooleys ideas as, "The self is a social product; it is defined and developed in social interaction" (p. 28). Cooley believed the social self has three components: "our imagining how we appear to another person, our imagining that other person's judgment of our appearance; and some self-feeling, such as pride or mortification, that arises from these imaginations" (p. 29).

Last, Cooley believed that the "primary group" of each of us as children - the family, the play group, and the neighborhood - are the most important to the development of each individual's self (p. 29).

William Isaac Thomas
Whereas Cooley was concerned with the formation of self in childhood, Thomas was concerned with it in adulthood (p. 30). We can thank W.I. Thomas for the term "the definition of the situation" (which I usually associate most with Goffman). Stryker writes, "It is the task of sociology to analyze behavior, the forms taken by the processes of adjustment of people and groups to other people and groups. Adjustment processes necessarily occur in situations; that is, adjustment processes are responses to objective circumstances in which individuals and groups are embedded" (pp. 30-31). However, each of the people has their own subjective interpretation of what is going on - the definition of the situation (p. 31). Their own subjective interpretation of the situation is their reality.

What's more, one's subjective reality is socially acquired: "Children... are always born into an ongoing group that has developed definitions of the general kinds of situations faced and has formulated rules of conduct premised on these definitions: moral codes are the outcome of "successive definitions of the situation."" (pp. 31-32). He continues, "Children cannot create their own definitions independently of society, or behave in those terms without societal interference" (p. 32). Furthermore, if an individual tries to create their own definition spontaneously, they tend to do so for hedonic reasons (what feels good), whereas society sets its definitions based on utilitarian reasons (what is good for society). Therefore, socialization is the process of "bringing the person to interanlize societal definitions" (p. 32). But what does the word "situation" mean? Well, apparently that was never terribly precise and it sort of shifted around throughout his career (p. 32).

George Herbert Mead
Mead is the most important precursor to symbolic interactionism. "Picking up from Dewey, he argues that persons initiate activity that relate to themselves and the environment; that is, the persons do not simply respond to external "stimuli" existing apart from the activity. Activity begins with an impulse without ordained end, and the humans seek to satisfy that impulse by adjusting behavior to the objects in the environment. Those objects become stimuli through functioning in the context of the act, during which they may become defined as relevant to the completion of the act" (p. 36). Therefore, as one feels hungry and looks for food, objects in the environment that were just sitting there as objects (berries) "become redefined as food. Stimuli acquire meaning in the course of activity (p. 36).

When completing an action requires other humans, Mead calls that a "social act." Social acts occur over a period of time and the early stages are "gestures" (making a fist is a gesture indicating that a punch is coming next) (p. 36-37). And here's where we get closer to symbolic interactionism itself. "Communication between persons involves a "conversation of gestures"" (p. 37). And some gestures acquire the same meaning to both parties, the one doing the gesturing and the one on the receiving end. These are "significant symbols" (p. 37). Language is "a system of significant symbols" and it allows us to understand other people's point of view, including how they see us. Taking on someone else's point of view is called "role-taking" (p. 37).

Because I am lazy, I will refer you to this Khan Academy video on Mead's work. Going off the material in the video, it is the "I-me" dialectic - the continued back and forth between the I and the Me - through which society continually shapes the self (p. 39).

Role Theory, Etc
Stryker says that the intellectual lineage traced above culminates in what Herbert Blumer calls symbolic interactionism. But there's another lineage with no main figure associated with it leading to another variant of symbolic interactionism. It comes from role theory (p. 39). The main idea here is that there is an objective reality that exists in society apart from individual actors definitions of the situation. Here, he brings in the work of Georg Simmel, Max Weber, and Ralph Linton (p. 40).

Georg Simmel
According to Simmel "society is neither a mere collection of individuals... nor an entity existing apart from individuals" (p. 41). It is "the name for a number of individuals, connected by interaction" (Simmel, The Sociology of Georg Simmel, 1950, p. 11). Simmel writes of "sociation," defined as "the interaction of minds, the conscious association of persons" (p. 41). In joining society, an individual gives up some of his or her individuality to meet the demands of society, but the individual remains unique (pp. 41-42).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Moral Visions of Nature

Nature has many different meanings to people (Bell 1994:8 ). Americans can be categorized into socially constructed groups based on how they view nature from a moral perspective: utilitarian, spiritual, and biocentric (Farrell 2015). I adopt Farrell's framework because his description of the social construction of three moral visions within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are grounded in the history of the area from the time the first Euro-American fur traders arrived in the 1800s, rather than static categories applied universally without regard to social construction or place.

Others have also grouped people by how they view humans' relationship with nature. The concept is referred to as "values" (Ellis 2013), "value orientations" (Hand and Van Liere 1984), "ideologies" (Manfredo et al 2009), or "attitude types" (Kellert 1985). Most refer to humans' orientations to nature, but Kellert's scheme refers specifically to humans' orientation to non-human animals.

Some scholars simply examine dominionism, the orientation in which humans see nature as something to dominate for their own use. Some believe the teachings of Christianity cause dominionism (White 1967; Hand and Van Liere 1984); eco-feminists attribute it to masculinity (Emel 1995). Occasionally, the mastery-over-nature concept is referred to as utilitarianism, evoking a human desire not just to conquer nature but to use its resources. Others see mastery over nature as one side of a spectrum, and the other side is human coexistence with nature. Manfredo et al (2009) does so, naming them "domination" and "mutualism." Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) propose spectrum from what they call "mastery-over-nature" to "harmony-with-nature" to a third category, "subjection-to-nature."

Ellis (2013) found that cattle ranchers saw their relationships with the land and cattle as mutualistic, even though their relationship with them was actually dominionistic. He called this "an ideological trick that mystifies exploitation and allows us not to engage with the difficult ethical and moral questions that are omnipresent within these relationships" (p 445). He bases his judgment that the ranchers are dominionistic on their use of cattle as meat and their use of land to graze cattle. However, the ranchers view themselves as husbands and stewards who care for the cattle and the land to preserve their ranch for future generations.

Kellert (1985) describes nine different "attitude types" toward animals, and other scholars have adopted his scheme (George et al 2016; Bjerke et al 1998; Nie 2005). Kellert's categories utilitarian, dominionistic, and negativistic correspond to traits of a dominionist or utilitarian according to the schemes described above (Kellert 1985: 170). Kellert's traits naturalistic, humanistic, moralistic, and aesthetic map to mutualism in the schemes above, and to Farrell's concept spiritualistic, described below. Kellert's traits ecologistic and scientistic correspond to mutualism and to Farrell's biocentric, described below.

Manfredo et al (2009) and Farrell (2015) are both concerned with change from a dominionistic or utilitarian moral order to a more harmonious one (mutualistic to Manfredo et al, spiritual and biocentric to Farrell). Manfredo et al, attribute the shift to "modernization" (urbanization, increased wealth, and higher education), explaining that as people move further from relying on wildlife as a food source, they become more free to think of wildlife in different ways from when they directly relied on them for food.

Farrell emphasizes the social construction of three "moral visions:" utilitarian, spiritual, and biocentric. The first white Americans feared nature and faced danger as they moved west and tamed and civilized (in their view) the wilderness. As they worked hard, the work they did (and do) extracting resources from nature became a moral virtue and the workers themselves virtuous (p. 35). To them, the earth was given to humans for their domination and use, and humans are above other species in a natural order. They were utilitarians, who believe the earth is for humans' use. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, utilitarians are characterized by rugged individualism and a belief in manifest destiny, private property rights, and anti-federalism (p. 35). They have a deep connection to the place where they do their labor in nature, and their epistemology is based on practical experience and tradition in that place (Farrell 2015: 38).

John Muir and Henry David Thoreau exemplify the spiritual moral vision. With its roots in 19th century romanticism and transcendentalism, at a time when white Americans were exploiting natural resources without restraint, it is an attempt to "(re)sacralize nature in response to materialist and consumerist pressures of American life" (p. 36). Those with a spiritual moral vision may or may not link their views on nature to religious beliefs, but they all emphasize communion with nature through spending time in it and protecting every creature in nature, even the seemingly insignificant ones (Farrell 2015: 36). Their moral vision may be connected with their religious faith, but it is not necessarily so. Their epistemology is based on senses, emotion, and religious influence (Farrell 2015: 38).

These first two moral visions appear similar to, but not identical to, agrarianism and ruralism (Buttel and Flinn 1977). Thoreau was a ruralist, and ruralism's roots go back to American romanticism, while agrarianism includes utilitarian values. However, there is a class distinction between agrarians and ruralists. The ruralists, who are often upper-middle class, can live "in the country, without being of it" (p. 545). The genteel country gentleman "might take up the hoe for diversion but not for a living" (p. 545). The virtues one gains from and exhibits in nature do not derive from working the land for the ruralist. Ruralists looked down on those who worked the land; agrarians, exemplified by the yeoman farmer, looked down on those who didn't (p. 546). Like Farrell, they describe a conflict when agrarians and ruralists attempt to enact competing visions of the proper relationship between humans and nature.

This analysis of the two competing moral visions that identifies them as belonging to different classes, adds the idea that those in the utilitarian camp can't afford to switch to ruralism - or spiritualism - because they need to make a living from the land: "Most farmers lack the funds and leisure time for arcadian country living and tended to view the land in utilitarian terms. This utilitarian value could make the farmer a soulless plunderer in the eyes of the ruralist, who found elevation - not mere economic sustenance - in the country" (Buttel and Flinn 1977: 546).

National forests are managed according to utilitarian ideals, and national parks were initially managed according to Muir's spiritual ideals (Duncan and Burns 2009). Despite Muir's belief that all animals were God's creatures, national park policy was to eliminate predators in order to promote healthy flocks of prey species like deer and elk. It was the third and final moral vision that led to embracing predators in the parks - and outside of them.

Darwin and Aldo Leopold ushered in the third moral vision, biocentric. Darwin placed humans back among animals instead of separate from and above them. Leopold emphasized the value of intact ecosystems and discovered that predators have a niche in a balanced ecosystem. He saw that areas with Mexican grey wolves also had healthy deer populations and healthy vegetation, but where the wolf was extirpated, the deer overpopulated and overgrazed the vegetation (Leopold 1949). Adolph Murie in particular was instrumental in discovering that the wolves of Denali National Park were not responsible for a decline in the population of Dall sheep as was commonly thought. The decrease in Dall sheep, he found, was actually due to a harsh winter. He published his work in 1944.

The epistemology of the biocentric moral vision is scientific consensus (Farrell 2015: 38). They value intact ecosystems that function in an equilibrium and they see humans as one species among many interconnected species, but not above them (Farrell 2015: 36). Wilson (1997) also uses the term "biocentric" to describe a similar concept.

The spiritual and biocentric viewpoints are compatible enough that the same individual can adopt them both. Both call for leaving nature alone to preserve it, and the same person may idealize intact ecosystems from a scientific perspective and feel spiritually elevated by hiking or hearing the howls of wild wolves. A content analysis of pro-wolf public comment letters submitted in response to the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to delist gray wolves from the endangered species list in Wyoming found that writers commonly invoked values from both moral visions (Farrell 2015: 208). For example, of all of the letters that gave either spiritual or ecological reasons to continue listing wolves as endangered, 26 percent included both (Farrell 2015: 209).

A second way sociologists categorize human views of nature came from philosophy. Both utilitarianism and spiritualism are separatist concepts of nature, viewing nature as that which excludes human activity (Bell 1994:121). The Native American way to properly interact with nature, which involves "establishing a deeply experiential and reciprocal relationship with" plants and animals, and the biocentric one are holistic, including humans as part of nature (Anderson 2005).

Philosophers find faults with both separatist and holistic views (Bell 1994:122). The problems of holism are apparent in the management of Yellowstone itself. If humans are part of nature, then why must we set aside land for a natural park, separate from other human developments? If humans and human activity is natural, then why does preserving nature within Yellowstone require limiting human activity there?

Separatism allows us to sidestep these questions, as the park can be considered natural by a separatist definition because it is (relatively) free of human influence. Of course, it has been heavily managed by people, but less so than, say, Manhattan. And as long as one ignores the roads and hotels, or the human extirpation and reintroduction of wolves, or the fact that Native Americans lived on this land and impacted it for thousands of years before Euro-Americans "discovered" it in a "pristine" state (and the expelled the Native Americans from the park), one can imagine they are in a wilderness untouched by humans.

In the U.S., the two separatist visions, utilitarian and spiritual, "left us with a schizophrenic approach to the natural world: humans either conquer nature and destroy its integrity, or they visit it as an outsider, idealizing its beauty and largely leaving it alone... Both positions treat nature as an abstraction - separate from humans and not understood, not real" (Anderson 2005)

Given the contradictions in both holism and separatism, humans may find a way to creatively combine them in their belief systems (Bell 1994:131-135). Or they may maintain a separatist mindset but solve its problems with pastoralism (Bell 1994:125). Pastoralism creates a gradient in which cities are further from nature and rural life (particularly in the past) is closer to it, drawing a contrast between "habits of living between societies of the natural rural past and the unnatural urban present" (Bell 1994:125). Ruralists (Buttel and Flinn 1977) and spiritualists (Farrell 2015) exhibit pastoralism. People who believe in both spiritual and biocentric moral visions must find a way to reconcile the separatism of the former and the holism of the latter in their concept of nature.

Perhaps Farrell's utilitarians are pastoralists too, as they find moral virtue in working in nature in the rural areas of the Northern Rocky Mountains. However, it is difficult to reconcile their belief that nature is to be used by humans with pastoralism. They idealize their lives as "outdoorsmen" but also believe that the wilderness should be conquered and civilized by humans in the name of progress. After a forest has been clear cut for lumber, how is it still natural to a separatist? And yet, logging forests or mining ore or drilling for gas and oil are the very uses to which utilitarians believe nature should be put.

* Anderson, MK. 2005. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. University of California Press.
* Bell, M.M. 1994. Childerly: Nature and Morality in a Country Village.
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* Buttel and Flinn. 1977. "Conceptions of Rural Life and Environmental Concern." Rural Sociology, 42, 4,
* Duncan, Dayton and Ken Burns. 2009. The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Alfred A. Knopf.
* Ellis, Colter. “The Symbiotic Ideology: Stewardship, Husbandry, and Dominion in Beef Production.” Rural Sociology 78, no. 4 (December 1, 2013): 429–49.
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* George et al. 2016. "Changes in Attitudes Toward Animals in the United States from 1978 to 2014."
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* Farrell. 2015. Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
* Kellert. 1985. "Public Perception of Predators, Particularly the Wolf and Coyote." Biological Conservation 31(2): 167-169.
* Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck. 1961. "Variations in Value Orientations." Row Peterson.
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* Nie. 2003. Beyond wolves: The politics of wolf recovery and management.
* White, L. 1967. "The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis." Science 155:1203-07.