1st Edition

Common Sense in Environmental Management
Thinking Through English Land and Water





  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 1, 2021
ISBN 9780367777296
April 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
184 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Common Sense in Environmental Management examines common sense not in theory, but in practice. Jonathan Woolley argues that common sense as a concept is rooted in English experiences of landscape and land management and examines it ethnographically - unveiling common sense as key to understanding how British nature and public life are transforming in the present day.



Common sense encourages English people to tacitly assume that the management of land and other resources should organically converge on a consensus that yields self-evident, practical results. Furthermore, the English then tend to assume that their own position reflects that consensus. Other stakeholders are not seen as having legitimate but distinct expertise and interests – but are rather viewed as being stupid and/or immoral, for ignoring self-evident, pragmatic truths. Compromise is therefore less likely, and land management practices become entrenched and resistant to innovation and improvement. Through a detailed ethnographic study of the Norfolk Broads, this book explores how environmental policy and land management in rural areas could be more effective if a truly common sense was restored in the way we manage our shared environment.



Using academic and lay deployments of common sense as a route into the political economy of rural environments, this book will be of great interest to scholars and students of socio-cultural anthropology, sociology, human geography, cultural studies, social history, and the environmental humanities.



Table of Contents

Table of Figures



Preface – Common sense: A briefing for policymakers



The problem – Siloing obstructs effective Environmental Land Management



What is common sense?



How does it shape English society and land management?



How should policymakers respond?



Acknowledgements



Introduction – Common sense questions



Why: Why Common Sense?



Where: The Broads as a Fieldsite



What: A Commonsense Argument



Bibliography



Chapter 1 – Do academics have common sense?



Koinē aísthēsis and other opinions: Key philosophical debates on common sense



"Sons of the Soil": Etymologies of common sense



Common sense as a social scientific object



Common sense as a political object



Chapter 2 – What is common sense?



Common sense as a vernacular object



Common sense in vernacular use



Chapter 2: Where is common sense to be found?



Learned voices: Common land in environmental histories of Broadland



Working Voices: "Bad Farming", Tidyness and the Balance of Contemporary Rural Life in Norfolk



Concerned voices: Current trends in Britain’s rural economy



Analysis: Work, Common Land and the Process of Enclosure in Broadland



Conclusion: The Institution of Common Ground



Chapter 4 – Can you learn common sense?



Overview: Strumpshaw Fen as a Place of Desire



Underview: Thicket Description of Working Your Way Through the Landscape



Counterview: Quiet Enjoyment and Visitor Experience



Interview: Farmers, Children, and the Acquisition of Common Sense



Teleview: "Broadland Consciousness" versus "Barrier Consciousness"



Chapter 5 – Why is common sense so scarce?



Hickling Broad: A lack of common ground



Bird Farmers: Catfield Fen and Landscape-Scale Conservation



Fragmenting Corporeal Attitudes: Habitus and "The Silo Effect"



Trials and Errors: The trouble with common sense



Conclusion: Chedgrave Common and the Apogee of Commoning



Conclusions – What do we need to know about common sense?



Gillian Tett, Robert Kett, and the Division of Labour

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Author(s)

Biography

Jonathan Woolley is an Affiliated Researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK. He was awarded his PhD in March 2018, following over a year of ethnographic fieldwork in the Broads National Park, upon which this book is based. Jonathan’s research there was part of an AHRC-funded research project at the University, Pathways to Understanding the Changing Climate, which explored the styles of learning about the environment that exist in different cultures around the world. Jonathan has also written on East Anglian folklore, nature spirituality, and public engagement with environmental and cultural heritage.