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To investigate how schoolchildren in south Florida think about their natural environment, children were observed participating in several school-organized environmental field trips. Their attitudes about, interactions with and knowledge concerning various aspects of their natural environment were observed. This study explores how these children interpret natural phenomena using their cultural tools and focuses on the interpretation of commonly-observed responses to nature. Responses discussed include: the blurring of lines between the natural and non-natural, separation and binary thinking, and fear and aggression. Reference is made throughout the study to various theoretical frameworks, including cultural-ecological perspectives, ideas from structural anthropology and other cognitive approaches.


This work is a Master's thesis submit to Florida Atlantic University in 2001.



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