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The Anthropology of Mining: The Social and Environmental Impacts of Resource Extraction in the Mineral Age

Authors
  • Jacka, Jerry K.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Anthropology
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Oct 21, 2018
Volume
47
Pages
61–77
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-102317-050156
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This article examines the social and environmental costs of living in the mineral age, wherein contemporary global livelihoods depend almost completely on the extraction of mineral resources. Owing to the logic of extractivism—the rapid and widespread removal of resources for exchange in global capitalist markets—both developed and developing countries are inextricably entangled in pursuing resource extraction as a means of sustaining current lifestyles as well as a key mechanism for promoting socioeconomic development. The past 15 years has seen a massive expansion of mineral resource extraction as many developing countries liberalized their mining sectors, allowing foreign capital and mining companies onto the lands of peasant farmers and indigenous people. This mining expansion has also facilitated the rise of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Transformations in livelihoods and corporate practices as well as the environmental impacts and social conflicts wrought by mining are the central foci of this article.

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