Social sciences perspectives: why new stories about invasive species are needed
In his paper Larson (2010) explains why our societies need to create new narratives about humans and invasive alien species. The author gives different perspectives on invasive plants, and ways to consider them. These include:
- Considerations of what is an invader, linked to perception of outsiders and reflections on the ‘military’ terminology which is used to describe invasions;
- Reflections on the human actions that create favorable environments for invasives;
- Reflections on the human actions that cause spread of species;
- Perceptions about what is natural and unnatural;
- Perceptions which can be linked to views of our own species (human beings) and the impacts we have on the environment;
- Considerations of the transient nature of the environment and the species living in it.
The author concludes that these factors emphasize that from a social sciences point of view, the invasive species concept is more complex than simply judging plants to be ‘good/bad’, ‘insider/outsider’, and ‘natural/unnatural’.
Larson BMH (2010) Reweaving narratives about humans and invasive alien species. Etudes rurales 185, 25-38.