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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON (2014)

Opening up the solar box : Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

Gorrie, Bryan F.

Titre : Opening up the solar box : Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

Auteur : Gorrie, Bryan F.

Université de soutenance : CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 2014

Résumé
This project considers the ways that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be brought to bear upon Cultural Resource Management (CRM) practices on renewable energy projects. ANT is a way of making inquiry into scientific knowledge practices and as CRM is intended to preserve environmental, historic, and prehistoric resources, it necessarily involves certain kinds of knowledge generation about regions in which projects are being developed. Because the practice of CRM is complex, involving a range of actors from developers to biologists, native peoples to academics, private landholders to environmental and cultural activists, it is imperative to account for the interests of all stakeholders and to resist devolving into the polemical relations of winners and losers, good and bad participants, or simple situations of right and wrong. This project intends to account for the “matters of concern” of various actors, both primary and secondary, by examining the case study of a single solar installation project in the Mojave Desert. A theoretical description of ANT is provided at the beginning and the concerns of this theory are brought to bear upon the case study project through describing the project, discussing the laws governing CRM on federal lands and in the state of California, and providing the points of view of various interviewees who worked directly or indirectly on various aspects of CRM for the solar project. The creators of ANT claim that it is not a methodology but it does speak to ethnomethodologies in that it insists that there is always something more to learn from inquiring into and describing any given situation. Thesdescriptions avoid generalizations, providing instead various points of entry, from diverse perspectives to the project. There is an invitation to avoid assuming that one knows all there is to know about a given situation and to choose instead to continue investigating and thus give voice to the more obscure, often marginalized, voices in the network of actors. With Thomas F. King, I recommend ongoing work that brings the theories ANT provides to bear on specific “matters of concern,” which are necessarily contingent and situated, to build acceptance and to “respect the legitimacy of [any given] small group’s cultural values - whether the group is made up of American Indians, cattle ranchers in Montana, or Southern Baptists” (King 2002:xvii) so that cultural resource management work can actualize the meaningful contribution to political and cultural systems that it was intended to facilitate.

Présentation (GradWorks)

Page publiée le 2 janvier 2015, mise à jour le 27 décembre 2017