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dc.contributor.advisorPunch, Samantha-
dc.contributor.advisorJones, Siân-
dc.contributor.authorRussell, Zoe-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is an interdisciplinary study of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Wester Ross. It concerns nature-culture relations in a rural region of north-west Scotland which received biosphere designation in 2016. Biospheres are part of a global network of sites which exist to model sustainable development and conserve natural and cultural heritage. Drawing on heritage studies, environmental politics and sociology, this study examines the biosphere model in discourse and practice through critical ethnographic methods used in-person and online. It focuses on how the Wester Ross model, which is community-led, works to connect people with nature and move beyond the ‘common sense’ of the nature-culture dichotomy and neoliberal ideologies. The biosphere is introduced as a designation, organisation and lens for place-making, illustrating how the model translates from concept to reality, and has been interpreted locally in practice. Assemblage theory is used as a way to conceptualise the community-led nature of biosphere as a rhizome. A range of contexts are drawn upon to show how actors in this assemblage negotiate and contest nature-culture relations relevant to communities, heritage and sustainability. Specific attention is given to regional conditions of unsustainability and practices of heritage-making which are perceived as important in Wester Ross. This includes crofting – an agricultural practice and form of land tenure – as well as the Gaelic language both of which are endangered. The thesis points to the complexity of working with change and challenges for future-making, situating the negotiation of nature-culture relations within a broader multi-scalar context. This includes drawing attention to the influence of scale, landownership and governance and using critical theories of place and power to unpack the ‘common sense’ neoliberal ideologies. Finally, the thesis suggests how alternative approaches to nature-culture relations, including biocultural heritage, could support the development of more just and sustainable futures.en_GB
dc.publisherUniversity of Stirlingen_GB
dc.subjectbiosphere reserveen_GB
dc.subjectcultural heritageen_GB
dc.subjectnature conservationen_GB
dc.subjectcritical theoryen_GB
dc.subjectScottish Highlandsen_GB
dc.subjectWester Rossen_GB
dc.subjectland ownershipen_GB
dc.subjectpolitics of scaleen_GB
dc.subjectparticipatory governanceen_GB
dc.titleMoving beyond 'common sense' discourses of nature-culture in the Scottish Highlands: a critical ethnography of Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere Reserveen_GB
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen_GB
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophyen_GB
dc.rights.embargoreasonI would like to delay access to my thesis in order to produce a monograph in 2023-2024en_GB
dc.contributor.funderEconomic and Social Research Councilen_GB
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses

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