Anderson and Nuttall - Chapter 01 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Anderson and Nuttall - Chapter 01

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Buy and Download Description Northern places are often spoken of in extreme, uncompromising terms. For many they are understood to be harsh, cold, remote and romantically challenging. These extreme metaphors are not innocent rhetorical flourishes. As Lakoff and Johnson (1980) have shown us, metaphors frame concepts in such a way as to shape the way people respond to them. The history of northern peoples is full of such misunderstandings. What is seen as the 'desolate' Arctic has become a dumping ground for the steaming artefacts of the Cold War (Osherenko and Young 1989). In the idiom of international law, northern territories are seen as terra nullius — empty frontiers wide open for settlement and appropriation of mineral wealth (Richardson 1993a). The anthropological canon, at times, has been no less innocent for its tradition of placing Arctic hunter-gatherers in test-case studies at what Harvey Feit (1994) has evocatively identified as 'the absolute zero of human culture'. In an ironic reversal of terms, the 'fragile' Arctic ecosystem spurs urban environmentalists to protect it with nature reserves and management regimes, often by forcibly evicting the people who use the land and thus impacting the environment in a different way (Lynge 1995b; Catton 1997; Spence 1999). Stefansson (1921) and Berger (1977) prominently employed concepts such as 'the Friendly Arctic' and 'Arctic Homeland' in order to fight these metaphors with words which force us to focus upon the people living in the North. However, even here the human element of the phrase stands in an unexpected and defiant contrast to the coldness of the geographic term. Northern places are often spoken of in extreme, uncompromising terms. For many they are understood to be harsh, cold, remote and romantically challenging. These extreme metaphors are not innocent rhetorical flourishes. As Lakoff and Johnson (1980)
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