Publication Date

July 2001

Journal or Book Title

Anthropological Quarterly


Although postmodern philosophers proclaimed the death of the master narrative of enlightenment (Lyotard 1984), the environment has become a quintessentially global narrative. Throughout the world, people are imagining the environment as an object threatened by human action. Environmentalism proposes to organize and mobilize human action in order to protect the endangered environment (Milton 1995). Sociologist Klaus Eder posits that ecology has become a “masterframe,” transforming the field of political debate (Eder 1996). The articles assembled in this special issue investigate the rise of the environment as a master narrative organizing political practices.


Harper, Krista. 2001. The Environment as Master Narrative: Discourse and Identity in Environmental Conflicts, Anthropological Quarterly 74(3): pp. 101-103.