UniCA – Cagliari

Research activities

The multidisciplinary reflection on the concept of Anthropocene and in particular the changes in the Earth’s climate produced by human activities suggest to consider in a new light the relationship between man and the environment, a classic theme of socio-cultural anthropology. The research unit of Cagliari deals with some case studies related to the use, access and distribution of environmental resources and common goods in the framework of processes of transformation of the environment (divestments, disposals, capitalizations), mainly in Sardinia. The cases examined concern different forms of “friction” (in the sense of friction, tension, but also adaptations, complicity, assemblages) from which it is possible to investigate and imagine innovative socio-environmental models related to the idea of “sustainability”. Among the main axes of the research unit are the production of the neoliberal discourse about nature as an economic “resource” (C. Ortu), the frictions linked to the processes of divestment of the coal mining industry (F. Bachis), green economy projects and the capitalization of archaeological assets (T. Cossu), land grabbing policies and the design of green chemistry plants (C. Maxia), forms of activism that claim new “environmental” sovereignty such as the Sardinian Shepherds Movement (F. Zerilli), social processes connected to the depopulation of the southern areas of the island (F. Tiragallo). The cases examined contribute to complicate the hegemonic idea of a linear change in the relationship with the environment, oriented by energy and production reconversions, which would range from exploitation to protection, from production to enhancement and then patrimonialisation, from material to immaterial. From this point of view, the ethnographic methodologies used are privileged tools for disjointing pre-established images of change and studying emerging cultural practices and current projects that announce sustainable environmental futures.