The Human Relationship with Nature
Urgent environmental problems call for vigorous research and theory on how humans develop a relationship with nature. In a series of original research projects, Peter Kahn answers this call. For the past eight years, Kahn has studied children, young adults, and parents in diverse geographical locations, ranging from an economically impoverished black community in Houston to a remote village in the Brazilian Amazon. In these studies Kahn seeks answers to the following questions: How do people value nature, and how do they reason morally about environmental degradation? Do children have a deep connection to the natural world that gets severed by modern society? Or do such connections emerge, if at all, later in life, with increased cognitive and moral maturity? How does culture affect environmental commitments and sensibilities? Are there universal features in the human relationship with nature? Kahn's empirical and theoretical findings draw on current work in psychology, biology, environmental behavior, education, policy, and moral development.
This scholarly yet accessible book will be of value to practitioners in the social science and environmental fields, as well as to informed generalists interested in environmental issues and children.
About the Author
Peter H. Kahn, Jr., is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems Laboratory at the University of Washington. Kahn and Hasbach are coeditors of Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species (MIT Press, 2012).
“Kahn is a thoughtful and sensitive guide across a far-reaching intellectual landscape, illuminating the relevance of ecological reasoning for many of the key intellectual controversies in developmental psychology.”
—Charles C. Helwig, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto
Winner of Outstanding Book Award, 2000, Moral Development and Education, American Educational Research Association.