This study analyzes the factors, internal and external, that affect the relationship between community identity and the social construction of animals, and the ways in which that social construction impacts the environment. Studied through the lens of the relationship between Atlantic Puffins and the human communities they live near, these questions situate our understanding of human societies as within, as opposed to above, the environment. Without this perspective, enacting environmental protections across the globe is ineffective. The study was conducted using ethnographic methods, including 11 formal interviews with community members and experts, along with observations in Iceland and Canada. Results indicate that human/animal relationships are interwoven with local cultures and social structures, so that models and definitions of conservation have to be based on the local context.


Fitz-Gibbon, Heather


Sociology and Anthropology


Environmental Studies | Place and Environment | Sociology | Sociology of Culture | Tourism


Atlantic Puffin, Community, Animal, Relationship, Iceland, Canada, Seabird

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar


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