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Notions of Time and Sentience: Methodological Considerations for Arctic Climate Change Research

From: Arctic Anthropology
Volume 44, Number 2, 2007
pp. 113-126 | 10.1353/arc.2011.0099



For anthropologists who are involved in Arctic climate change research, cultural conceptions of time and sentience have yet to receive explicit research attention, choosing rather to focus on the societal effects of climate change and formulating more adaptive human responses. Notwithstanding the value of this research, the methodologies often used tend to reflect a culturally based assumption that there exists a single characterization of time and sentience that applies to all Arctic residents. Based on collaborative research with the Koyukon community of Huslia, Alaska, this paper challenges that assumption and identifies some of the cross-cultural challenges of conducting climate change research when differing notions of time and sentience are encountered.

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