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(De-) Legitimising hunting – morality discourses on hunting in Europe and Eastern Africa

AuthorsFischer, Anke; Kerezi, Vesna; Arroyo, Beatriz ; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel
Issue Date2012
CitationInternational Conference on Hunting for Sustainability (2012)
AbstractTalking about hunting often seems to mean talking about morality: Much of the public debate over hunting revolves around perceptions of moral acceptability of different types of and approaches to hunting. But what exactly is seen as moral, what is seen as a legitimate (or illegitimate) way of hunting? Drawing on qualitative interviews and focus group discussions with hunters, non-hunters and anti-hunters in study areas in four European and two eastern African countries, we examined patterns in our participants’ argumentations, and identified the attributes that are drawn on to (de)legitimise hunting, including characteristics of the hunted animal, hunting techniques and approaches, and motivations. The latter factor in particular, i.e., ideas of legitimate and illegitimate motivations, seemed to underpin a large part of our participants’ conversations. For example, hunting for food (“for the pot”) was an extremely relevant argument that was used recurrently across study sites to legitimise hunting, especially where hunters were seen to have no other choice. Almost consensually, non-hunters and many hunters across most study areas regarded it as unacceptable not to eat the game killed in a hunt. Similarly, hunting was often legitimised by a reference to cultural identity of the hunter’s community that needed to be preserved. Our analysis identifies these common building blocks of argumentations for and against certain types of hunting, and interprets them against the backdrop of wider societal discourses on subsistence livelihoods, cultural heritage and identity, and the need to make conservation count. We argue that such legitimisations of hunting are embedded in and expressions of such societal discourses, and should be interpreted in this context. Our analysis also suggests that there might be more overlap between argumentations of hunters and non-hunters (and partly even anti-hunters) than commonly thought, which, where required, could be used as a starting point for conflict management.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado a la International Conference on Hunting for Sustainability: "Ecology, Economics and Society", celebrada en Ciudad Real (España) del 27 al 29 de marzo de 2012.-- et al.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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