Social Imaginaries as Drivers of the Co-Construction of Biotic Assemblages in Patagonia

080368d2-369d-4ca8-86de-b822d89834e4While I was conducting my internship in Tierra del Fuego, we carried out a three-part analysis using “social imaginary” as an analytical tool to study the process of biological invasions in Tierra del Fuego. To construct these imaginaries, first, we undertook a socio-historical analysis to identify shared ideas relevant to nature and to the construction of the biotic assemblage. Secondly, we identified shared actions regarding¬†introductions or removals of exotic species to the region. In both of these analyses, we identified the key institutions related to shared actions or ideas. Finally, we completed an integrated analysis to construct and characterize the social imaginaries and their effects on the construction of Tierra del Fuego’s biotic assemblage. In total, we identified three dominant social imaginaries: Colonization (1850-1930), Development (1930-1980), and Conservation (1980-Current). We proposed that these social imaginaries be used as an analytical tool to understand the processes of biological invasion and their management today.

Jessica Archibald, undergraduate student in Environmental Sciences, Northern Arizona University