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David   Glory

Postdoctoral Fellow

CREDO (France)
[ ]

I am a doctor in social and cultural anthropology, post-doctoral fellow affiliated to CREDO (UMR 7308 AMU-CNRS-EHESS). I have been conducting research in the Cook Islands since 2015, particularly on two islands, Manihiki and Ma'uke, where I am interested in the process of appropriation of the climate change discourse by islanders.
Member of
e-toile Pacifique (e-toile)
European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Historical periods
20th century
21st century
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  • PhD Research (2015 to 2021)
    When change is overdue - Uses and impacts of climate change discourse in Ma'uke and Manihiki, Cook Islands — CREDO - Labex Corail
    This thesis seeks to understand the place of the scientific discourse on climate change in the lives of people in an insular territory that is deemed particularly vulnerable to this issue: the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. Too often considered from a universal perspective, this scientific discourse is anything but socially neutral, since it is based on concepts and representations of the world, time and space that are specific to Western societies. Using an eighteen-month comparative ethnographic survey conducted in Ma'uke and Manihiki between 2014 and 2018 as a basis for reflection, the present study questions perceptions and uses that the islanders have made of this discourse since its emergence during the 2010 decade. It takes as its basis of analysis, in particular, the collection of local knowledge on the environment carried out among the population by scientists and environmental NGOs in order to illustrate the reality of climate change. One of the main findings of this thesis is that the use of discourse on climate change, particularly during these collections, is part of individual and social strategies that go beyond the environmental issue itself. The interpretation of the theory of climate change by the islanders, as well as the practices and discourses associated with it, are thus independent of the characteristics of the climate problem which is subordinated to the social status of the islanders, defined according to the roles and functions they occupy within the community. In this case, the climate change issue does not cause a rupture of the social order, but reproduces and even reinforces the systems of values and hierarchies that existed before its emergence among the Ma'ukean and Manihikian. This work shows how necessary it is, in order to understand the multiple meanings that a community gives to the scientific discourse on climate change, to place at the heart of the analysis the tensions and social dynamics that structure it.
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