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The social construction of salmon farming in British Columbia : power, knowledge, and production Schreiber, Dorothee

Abstract

My study deals with the controversy over salmon farming as a problem in the sociology of knowledge. I demonstrate the reality of social constructs of salmon farming by locating knowledge within people's everyday, lived experience. By thinking with and against one another, people are able to recreate the conditions under which salmon farming is possible in the first place. At the same time, the interactions through which these meanings about farmed salmon are constructed take place in historically unique and culturally specific contexts. I find that the things of salmon farming are continuous with the patterns of social action and interaction in which people are enmeshed. I try to understand the relationship between power and knowledge by looking to people's interests and activities for the basis of their understanding of salmon aquaculture. My study focuses largely on the relationship between two First Nations groups, the Namgis and the Ahousaht, and the salmon farming companies operating in their territories. I examine how the colonial conflict over modes of production reappears in the controversy over salmon farming, and how farmed salmon is constructed by salmon farmers through the exercise o f colonial power. In particular, I explain the techniques used by salmon farmers to exercise control over natural resources and over opposing environmentalist and Native forces.

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