Environmental Perception, Sense of Place, and Residence Time in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Amelia C. Eisenhart, Kelley A. Crews Meyer, Brian Hastings King, Kenneth R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Integral to the geographic discipline are cross-cultural analyses, many of which use languages outside of the researcher’s own. There are few analyses, however, that address issues of translation that are inherently geographic; namely, that language is understood as a manifestation of place and culture. This article argues that the results of environmental interviews must be interpreted through a lens that evaluates how the translation of a word, or even a concept, is understood differentially based on one’s sense of place. Interviews were conducted in three of the Etsha villages situated in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, comparing perceptions of changes in both the local area and the flooding regime. Findings show qualitatively and quantitatively how residents perceive environmental change in light of their residential histories and their production of place. These results highlight that environmental change in an area is perceived in the context of previous residences, including the length of time spent in residence and the environmental characterization of that place. The process of interviewing regarding such change, especially when translation is necessary, should therefore proceed by incorporating inquiries about previous residences and the environments of those areas to correctly contextualize environmental change in a particular area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalProfessional Geographer
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Fingerprint

sense of place
Botswana
residence time
environmental change
village
flooding
interview
language
regime
resident
history
environmental perception
time

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Eisenhart, Amelia C. ; Crews Meyer, Kelley A. ; King, Brian Hastings ; Young, Kenneth R. / Environmental Perception, Sense of Place, and Residence Time in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. In: Professional Geographer. 2019 ; Vol. 71, No. 1. pp. 109-122.
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Environmental Perception, Sense of Place, and Residence Time in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. / Eisenhart, Amelia C.; Crews Meyer, Kelley A.; King, Brian Hastings; Young, Kenneth R.

In: Professional Geographer, Vol. 71, No. 1, 02.01.2019, p. 109-122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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