Title page for ETD etd-07112007-092856

Type of Document Dissertation
Author O'Brien, William Eugene
URN etd-07112007-092856
Title Constructing the problem of "slash-and-burn" agriculture
Degree PhD
Department Environmental Design and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Browder, John O. Committee Chair
Grossman, Lawrence S. Committee Member
Holloway, Rachel L. Committee Member
Randolph, John Committee Member
Wisdom, Harold W. Committee Member
  • Post-colonialism
  • Kenneth Burke
  • Shifting Cultivation
  • Deforestation
  • "Slash-and-burn" agriculture
Date of Defense 1996-05-17
Availability restricted
"Slash-and-burn" agriculture, or shifting cultivation, is perceived by many to be the leading cause of land degradation in tropical forests. Performed mainly by resource-poor farmers, shifting cultivation is the most widespread form of agriculture in the tropics. Concern over its environmental impacts has led to calls throughout the twentieth century for alternatives by policy-makers and development planners. This study employs a constructivist framework, post-colonial perspectives, and rhetorical methods to understand the images which support such assertions regarding shifting cultivation, primarily in policy-oriented depictions. Elements of Kenneth Burke's "dramatistic" method are used, including the analysis of hierarchies which structure discourse, and pentadic analysis.
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