Whose is the Anthropocene?

The Anthropological Approach to the Global Climate Change

Cultural anthropology and European ethnology are by definition disciplines focusing on human beings. In other words, anthropology studies social and cultural phenomena and not nature, being understood as something which has existed prior and without reference to any cultural constructions. In response to opinions, assigning only secondary role to humanities and social sciences as opposed to natural sciences and geoengineering when giving appropriate responses to global climate change, a new theoretical framework has emerged in anthropological scholarship in the last two decades. I argue that the ontological approach enables anthropology to occupy an independent and innovative role in the relevant scholarly study of global climate change. On the basis of a long-term fieldwork in Northeastern-Siberia and ongoing ontological anthropological debates, I stress the centrality of anthropology in the renegotiation of our key western ideas and categories on climate, nature and society as well as in establishing a new morality for the Anthropocene era.

Released: Replika 113, 145–164.