Accepted Paper:

Sustainability and folk culture: some features in contemporary life  


Dorothy Billings (Wichita State University)
Viacheslav Rudnev (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

Global ecological problems of modern society are stimulating research into technologies and changes in societal norms which support effective exploitation of Nature in the direction of sustainable development. Folk/Indigenous peoples have accumulated unique experiences (technologies and ethics) in working with Nature, from which industrial societies can learn useful ideas about relationships between Nature and society.

Paper long abstract:

The interest of the 21st century's society in Folk cultures has been generated by features of modern society's problems; in particularly, problems of interaction in the "Human-Nature-Society" system. In 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) set standards defining violations of the global environment. The Agenda 21', adopted at this Conference, focused on the need for new solutions to problems regarding the relationship between nature and society.

The interest of society in folk knowledge with regard to life-support activities has fallen on the period beginning with the active transformations of the environment as a result of industrial society's infringement on Nature, and leading to the recognition of the necessity in generating new approaches based on exploitative technologies friendly to Nature.

Hunters, fishermen, farmers in different areas of the World have accumulated unique data, the results of observations in wild nature. This data can be found in folk signs and folk technologies. Farmers in Eurasia, for example, have created a unique system of using Nature which is based not only on original technologies but also includes ethical norms. We will focus our attention in this paper on methods of life-support activities effective for long-term sustainable production at the local level.

Panel IW08
World in Europe