Lan­guage About Na­tu­ral En­vi­ron­ments


Authors: Denise Mitten


Lan­guage about na­tu­re helps shape how peo­p­le think about and re­la­te to na­tu­re. Lan-guage can en­cou­ra­ge or dis­cou­ra­ge he­alt­hy re­la­ti­onships with the more-than-hu­man worlds (an­o­ther way to re­fer to na­tu­re or na­tu­ral en­vi­ron­ments). Much of the com­mon lan­guage used to de­scri­be na­tu­ral en­vi­ron­ments and hu­mans’ re­la­ti­onships to them in Wes­tern count­ries and ad­ven­ture the­ra­py out­door pro­grams co­mes from Eu­ro­cen­tric ap­proa­ches to un­der­stan­ding hu­man con­nec­tions to na­tu­re. I en­cou­ra­ge prac­ti­tio­ners to ex­plo­re re­pai­ring es­tran­ged hu­man re­la­ti­onships with more-than-hu­man worlds in part by chan­ging the lan­guage used from Eu­ro­cen­tric ap­proa­ches and at­ti­tu­des to a more re­la­tio­nal ideo­lo­gy. This in­cludes un­der­stan­ding how Eu­ro­cen­tric ideo­lo­gy has cau­sed many peo­p­le to have power over and es­tran­ged re­la­ti­onships with the na­tu­ral worlds.

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