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Species: a praxiographic study
journal contributionposted on 2015-12-01, 00:00 authored by Eben KirkseyEben Kirksey
© 2015 Royal Anthropological Institute. Taxonomists, who describe new species, are acutely aware of how political, economic, and ecological forces bring new forms of life into being. Conducting ethnographic research among taxonomic specialists - experts who bring order to categories of animals, plants, fungi, and microbes - I found that they pay careful attention to the ebb and flow of agency in multispecies worlds. Emergent findings from genomics and information technologies are transforming existing categories and bringing new ones into being. This article argues that the concept of species remains a valuable sense-making tool despite recent attacks from cultural critics.