Sustainability 2012, 4(7), 1596-1618; doi:10.3390/su4071596
Article

Worlds Apart: A Social Theoretical Exploration of Local Networks, Natural Actors, and Practitioners of Rural Development in Southern Honduras

Department of Sociology, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
Received: 23 May 2012; in revised form: 26 June 2012 / Accepted: 5 July 2012 / Published: 16 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
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Abstract: This paper explores the importance of incorporating the socioecological realities of alternative networks into analyses of rural development. Cultural theory is examined, which provides a base upon which rural development can identify difference in worldviews based on difference in sociological conditions and environmental phenomena. Actor-oriented theory problematizes the ideal types of cultural theory, providing a means of give-and-take between actors’ worldviews of different networks. Actor-network theory breaks down the nature-culture dichotomy of actor-oriented theory, so that nature becomes as ‘active’ an actor as people and community. Actor-network theory brings nature and society together, perceiving the two as mutually inclusive and constitutive. Coupled with recognition of power associated with political economic/ecological forces, actor-network theory can encourage us to see the frequency of tropical storms in Honduras as being among the powerful actors that have played a significant, consistent role in shaping the mode of ordering of impoverished Honduran peoples. This paper concludes by exploring how alternative, agroecological networks established in a protected area in southern Honduras with ‘strong’ natural actors can be re-ordered by incorporating autonomy and resiliency into the network.
Keywords: actor-network; agroecology; alternative development; culture; ethnography; Honduras; political ecology; protected area

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gareau, B.J. Worlds Apart: A Social Theoretical Exploration of Local Networks, Natural Actors, and Practitioners of Rural Development in Southern Honduras. Sustainability 2012, 4, 1596-1618.

AMA Style

Gareau BJ. Worlds Apart: A Social Theoretical Exploration of Local Networks, Natural Actors, and Practitioners of Rural Development in Southern Honduras. Sustainability. 2012; 4(7):1596-1618.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gareau, Brian J. 2012. "Worlds Apart: A Social Theoretical Exploration of Local Networks, Natural Actors, and Practitioners of Rural Development in Southern Honduras." Sustainability 4, no. 7: 1596-1618.

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