The International Handbook of Political Ecology
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The International Handbook of Political Ecology

Edited by Raymond L. Bryant

The International Handbook features chapters by leading scholars from around the world in a unique collection exploring the multi-disciplinary field of political ecology. This landmark volume canvasses key developments, topics, issues, debates and concepts showcasing how political ecologists today address pressing social and environmental concerns. Introductory chapters provide an overview of political ecology and the Handbook. Remaining chapters examine five broad themes: issues and approaches; governance and power; knowledge and discourse; method and scale; connections and transformations. Across diverse topics and perspectives, these chapters amount to a wide-ranging survey of current research, making the International Handbook an indispensable reference for scholars and students in political ecology.
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Chapter 47: Political ecology of the body: a visceral approach

Allison Hayes-Conroy and Jessica Hayes-Conroy


In this chapter, we seek to demonstrate how and why bodies matter to political ecology and what political ecology as an approach to understanding lends to the study of bodies. We do so by exploring a particular model called political ecology of the body (PEB). We developed the model out of our recognition that political ecology lends key tools for analyzing bodily materiality that help to operationalize the ‘material turn’ of much social and cultural analysis without neglecting political ecology’s long-held concerns of structural inequity and discursive context. The authors find that recent scholarship on the political ecology of health and political ecological forays into material theories of affect, as well as broader ‘second-generation’ political ecology that has embraced relational theories, all provide strong evidence of growth in the field in a direction that is uniquely prepared to address concerns of the visceral, material body. At the same time, the authors insist that the realm of bodily experience can and should be included in all political ecology theorizing; to examine without concern for the visceral is to curtail explanation without full appreciation of the power of feeling in all of our political and ecological realities.

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