Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226543826 Will Publish April 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226376639 Will Publish April 2018
An e-book edition will be published.

Moral Entanglements

Conserving Birds in Britain and Germany

Stefan Bargheer

Moral Entanglements

Stefan Bargheer

336 pages | 17 halftones, 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226543826 Will Publish April 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226376639 Will Publish April 2018
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226543963 Will Publish April 2018
At the beginning of Stefan Bargheer’s account of bird watching, field ornithology, and nature conservation stands a tiny island in the North Sea. The square-mile outcrop midway between Britain and Germany is the site for an impressive diversity of birdlife and a not less astonishing variety of ways to relate to birds. Over the last two centuries, the birds passing the island en masse during migration season were used for many different purposes, ranging from food sources, hunting trophies and museum specimens, to rarities ticked off on the collecting lists of bird watchers. This diversity makes the island a fascinating backdrop against which one can observe the emergence and transformation of bird conservation in Britain and Germany.

In Moral Entanglements, Bargheer uses life history data derived from written narratives and oral histories to follow this development from the point in time at which the greatest declines in bird life took place to current efforts in large-scale biodiversity conservation and environmental policy. While contemporary conservation is often depicted as the outcome of an environmental revolution that took place since the 1960s, Bargheer shows to the contrary that the relevant practices and institutions that shape it evolved gradually since the early nineteenth century. Along the way, the book addresses three interrelated questions: Why are birds the most popular aspect of nature among both amateurs and professionals? What accounts for the differences in the value attributed to birds in the two countries? And how can we explain the timing of the emergence of organized bird conservation and its transformation over time? Out of this intricate study, Bargheer formulates a sociology of morality informed by a pragmatist theory of value.
Contents
List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Prologue: A Bird’s Eye View
1 A Pragmatist Theory of Morality
2 Collector’s Items and Viable Means
3 Technology Comes to the Countryside
4 Field Ornithology and Practical Bird Conservation
5 Endangered Birds and Indicator Species
6 Bird Watching as Organizational Strategy
7 Data Power and Geographical Reference Frames
Conclusion: Studying Morality
Appendix 1: Method and Data
Appendix 2: Names and Translations
List of Interviews
References
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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